University Library Salzburg

The "Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg" or "Salzburg University Library" was founded in 1652 by the Benedictine monk Alphons Stadelmayer. He did so upon request of Prince Archbishop Paris Lodron, the founder of the university. Stadelmayer purchased a famous book collection by Christoph Besold, a German statesman from the period of the Thirty Years′ War. The collection contained many books from the library of Lucas Osiander the Younger, once chancellor of Tübingen University in today′s Germany. This collection served as the core of the university library.

This core was gradually extended; noteworthy benefactors of the university library include the Abbot Albert of St. Peter, Abbot Urban of the monastery of Admont and Dr. Johann Christoph Metzger. In 1768, the university library was greatly extended by inheriting the Kuchard-Scheck library; after this, the collection contained some 12,000 volumes.

The court library of the Prince Archbishop had been founded by Prince Archbishop Max Gandolf von Kuenburg in 1672. It comprised of some 20,000 volumes and had been made available to scholars in 1772. This library was looted in 1801 by Bavarian and French troops who conquered Salzburg in the course of the Napoleonic Wars. The remains were merged with the University Library in 1807 upon orders by Emperor Francis I of Austria. Since the university was downgraded to a "Lyceum", its library was now to be called "Lycealbibliothek". Since the re-founding of Salzburg University in the 1960ies, it has been developed into a modern facility.

Today′s Universitly Library contains a million volumes, includes 1,100 manuscripts, of which 375 are medieval and Baroque. They date back to the 8th century. The main site of the University Library is at the campus of the Old University (Alte Universität), just opposite the Festival Hall. In association with this main facility, there are approximately 20 department libraries.

On contrast to university libraries in other countries, the Austrian ones are open to the use of the general public and free of charge; nevertheless, it is mainly used by students and faculty of Salzburg University. The books are not directly accessible, the catalogue has to be browsed manually and individual volumes are to be ordered at the entrance area. Expect a waiting time of about an hour between ordering a book and being able to collect it - you can order in advance online, though.

Further Reading
Salzburg University Library

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