Österreichische Nationalbibliothek - Vienna, Austria
The Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library) is a breathtaking baroque masterpiece, finished in 1726. Formerly the court library to the Hapsburgs, it is one of the world’s major libraries, with an extraordinary collection that dates back to the 14th century. The current collection contains around 2.5 million books.
Visitors can also visit many special collections, which include prints, maps, papyri, portraits, music and theater. But the magnificent library itself is the focal point here. Among the exhibits are two exquisite Venetian baroque globes: one for the earth and one for the sky, each with a diameter of more than one meter. Keep your eye out for library employees slipping through concealed passages behind certain bookcases.
What’s better than wine and hors d'oeuvres? Majestic reading rooms and card catalogs, of course! We archivists were in seventh heaven at the Library of Congress earlier this month while attending a reception for the Society of American Archivists. I couldn’t resist snapping some photos of the library’s chemistry-related headings, which are, shall we say, extensive.