The Austrian Library in Warsaw was established in 2002 under an agreement between the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, represented by the Austrian Cultural Forum in Warsaw, and the University of Warsaw Library. The book offer of the Austrian Library includes, among other items, literature and history of Austria, literary studies, history of literature, history of Eastern, Central and Southeastern European countries, art and architecture, philosophy, travel and cultural studies. At the premises readers also have current newspapers, specialist magazines and periodicals at their disposal.
Dobra 56/66, 00-312 Warsaw
phone: (+48 22) 55 25 211
- Monday – Friday 8-22
- Saturday 9-21
- Sunday 15-20
Registration and circulation:
- Monday 13-19
- Tuesday – Friday 11-17
Registration with the Austrian Library
Registration with the Austrian Library is possible during the opening times of BUW Circulation Desk. To register in the system you need to present a valid photo ID and a student ID in the case of UW students or a BUW library card in the case of persons from outside UW. You may obtain the BUW library card at the Circulation Desk on level 1 by paying a one-time fee of PLN 20.00. The registration is tantamount to accepting the regulations of the Austrian Library.
The opening times in July and August are adjusted to the summer opening mode of the University of Warsaw Library. Information about the changed opening times will be made available on the website in advance.
Regulations of the Austrian Library
- Every reader holding a library card of the Austrian Library in Warsaw is entitled to enter BUW in order to visit the Austrian Library.
- Readers of the Austrian Library are subject to the regulations of the University of Warsaw Library.
- Anyone who wishes to become a reader of the Austrian Library is required to register with the University of Warsaw Library and obtain its library card first.
- To register with the Austrian Library you must present your ID and electronic student ID or BUW library card.
- When leaving the building you must present your Austrian Library card and BUW library card or your electronic student ID.
- Books may be borrowed at the following times: Mondays 13-19, Tuesdays – Fridays 11-17. The Austrian Library will inform of any changes to the opening times of the library on its website.
- The online catalogue of the Austrian Library is available on the website.
- The book collection can be accessed during the opening times of the University of Warsaw Library, that is Monday – Friday 8-22, Saturday 9-21 and Sunday 15-20.
- Each reader may borrow up to 3 books from the book collection dedicated for borrowing outside of the library for up to 30 days.
- Readers may renew the borrowed books once only for the next 30 days.
- The Austrian Library in Warsaw offers the possibility to borrow books by post. This service is subject to seperate regulations.
- Readers bear the costs of damaged or lost items.
- If readers fail to return books in time, a fine of PLN 0.25 is charged for each day of failing to return a single book in time.
- In the case of failing to return a book in time, the Austrian Library may ask BUW to block reader’s account with BUW (if they have one) until the overdue item is returned.
- As a result of violating the regulations of the Austrian Library or the University of Warsaw Library, employees of the Austrian Library have the right to deprive a reader of the rights resulting from holding the Austrian Library card.
The history of the Austrian Library in Warsaw
The Austrian Library in Warsaw is the biggest library of 65 Austrian libraries located around the world. The beginnings of the Austrian Library collection date back to the 1960s. In 1965 the Austrian Cultural Institute was set up in Warsaw, the first Western European cultural centre created behind the Iron Curtain. Along with the Institute a book collection appeared, whose items were not lent initially, and it has grown ever since. The Institute became the flagship of Austria and a window to the world for the Polish intellectuals in the People’s Republic of Poland. Discussions and meetings in the Austrian Reading Room connected the East and West of Europe, culture and art of Poland and Austria. In the Reading Room, the Institute provided books on philosophy, sociology and history, practically unavailable anywhere else. It also provided books to the collections of the Jagiellonian Library and the Main Library of KUL. From the library operating at the Institute books in German could be borrowed home.
In 2002 pursuant to the agreement, the collections from the Library of the Austrian Cultural Institute go to Dobra Street, to BUW. A new autonomous unit is created, called the Austrian Library in Warsaw, operating within the structure of the University of Warsaw Library. The agreement meant that the Austrian Library became incorporated into the international network of Austrian Libraries in the world. The first such institution outside of Austria was founded at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow in 1986. The collection was financed by the Austrian side, and the Jagiellonian Library bore the cost of the premises, equipment and personnel. This model of cooperation was also implemented in Warsaw. Since the 1980s, the network of Austrian Libraries in the world has grown to more than sixty branches in twenty-eight countries, mainly in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. At present, in Poland, apart from Warsaw and Cracow, there are four other Austrian Libraries in Opole, Poznań, Wrocław and Rzeszów. Supported by the Austrian government, they cooperate with local institutions, universities and libraries, and try to broaden people’s knowledge about the inhabitants of Austria, its culture and history.
The collection of the Austrian Library in Warsaw
Readers may access over 16 thousand books from various areas, ranging from literature, literary studies and history, through politics and geography to philosophy, psychology and culture. Here the reader will find albums with art and architecture, learn about well- or lesser-known Austrian composers and painters. However, fiction and literature act as the library’s substantive focus. The library regularly purchases the latest publications from the German-language publishing market. The collection of the Austrian Library is available in an analogue version in the form of a card catalogue and in the electronic version in the form of the catalogue online.
Readers may also access current newspapers, specialist journals and periodicals dedicated to literature, politics, culture and history.
The Austrian Library is the co-organizer of author’s evenings, book presentations, lectures and exhibitions that take place at the premises of the University of Warsaw Library.
Since 1 April 2014 the Austrian Library has had it its page on Facebook.
The access to the collection is free of charge.