Local loan

Who may borrow?

The Austrian National Library is a reference library, that is, the holdings are placed at your disposal for use in the reading rooms of the Library. That guarantees that the vast majority of the holdings is at all times available. Borrowing of objects to be taken from the premises is therefore permitted only in exceptional cases.

The right to borrow is given only to persons who have completed their eighteenth year and have their normal place of residence or workplace, educational or research institute within the area of Greater Vienna

  • and are able to make a credible case for the need to borrow on the basis of scholarly activity. By scholarly activity we mean writing of dissertations or postdoctoral theses and the carrying out of scientific research projects
  • or are active members of bodies under public law
  • or are active members of bodies under private law that have their main activity in the field of science and/or culture
  • and to persons for whom the use of the reading rooms is impossible or severely limited because of some physical handicap.

Important instructions

It is not permitted to lend further to other persons, for a fee or free of charge, works that have been borrowed from the Austrian National Library, or to make a loan in the name of another person. If you are absent from your residential address for a period of more than three weeks, all borrowed works are to be returned. In no situation is it permitted to take borrowed works with you on a trip.
Non-observance of these conditions for borrowing will lead to loss of the right to borrow.

How do you get the right to borrow (borrower’s card)?

The annual fee is EUR 10.00 (incl. 10% VAT). Please apply for the borrower’s card with the following documents at the Local Loan Desk at the Heldenplatz site:

  • Proof of residential address or your place of work or education or research (e.g., registration slip, work ID)
  • Official ID with photo (e.g., passport, student card, work ID)
  • Proof of the necessity of a justification of a loan because of a scientific or professional activity (postgraduate thesis, dissertation, scientific or research project, scientific publication).

By signing the application form you confirm that you have read and accepted the Austrian National Library’s Library Regulations.

Borrowers’ cards are issued at the Service Desk at the Heldenplatz site (Mon to Fri, 9 am – 8.30 pm) on presentation of an official identification card (with photo) and a copy of the application form.

Period of validity / extensions

Borrowers cards expire one year after the date of issue and may be renewed for an additional period of a year, upon presentation of updated proof that the preconditions referred to above are still being met.

Guarantee deposit

The deposit may be forfeited to the Austrian National Library to cover costs for any damage to the items borrowed. It can also be forfeited as a compensatory payment, or to cover replacement costs.

Guarantee deposit
For all persons with the right to borrow 80.00

How many items can you borrow?

You may borrow up to 5 volumes at any one time. This means that further volumes can only be ordered or borrowed after items originally borrowed have been returned. The Austrian National Library is entitled to restrict the number of items that may be borrowed.

Where can you collect or give back ordered works?

At the issue desk of Reading Room 1 (Main Reading Room), Mon - Sun, 9 am - 8.30 pm. Please collect items personally, presenting your borrower’s ID card. Items will only be released to persons nominated by you if they can present both your borrower’s ID card and appropriate written authorisation. If ordered items are not collected within the allotted period, they will be made available for others to use.

How long may you borrow?

The loan period is one month from the date of issue. You can renew the item for a period of one further month provided that no other user has reserved it and that the item is renewed before the due date. To extend loan periods, please renew items yourself, either by using the tool provided in the Catalogue, or in person at the Heldenplatz Local Loan Desk.
Extension beyond the expiry of a borrower’s ID card is not permissible. The library is entitled to recall items on loan before the due date.


If materials are not returned in time, fees for the warning and the transgression are calculated.

Costs of warnings (Prices o not include VAT)
late return fees / media unit / per day
1st warning by e-mail (10 days after due date)
2nd warning by e-mail (20 days after due date)
3rd warning by registered post (30 days after due date; plus postage and costs for registered mail)

If printed materials are not returned in time or fees incurred not paid, neither a loan nor an extension of other materials is possible.

Which works cannot be borrowed?

In principle only printed materials may be borrowed. In general the following cannot be borrowed:

  • Precious or rare works
  • Works from the reading rooms and reference libraries of the Departments
  • Luxury editions, presentation copies, books with plate illustrations, picture books, map collections, travel guides, loose page editions, books from a special exhibition
  • Austrian “Austriaca” (i.e., works published or printed in Austria) that are not held in several copies (this does not apply to national academic works)
  • Newspapers, periodicals, and large format works
  • Works that were published before 1900
  • Works that are unbound (brochured) or in a poor state of repair

Loans of holdings for exhibitions

To borrow holdings for the purposes of an exhibition you must approach the relevant Department with a loan request. The conditions and charges are set in the loan contract.


Ortsleihe / Local Loan
Postal adress:
Josefsplatz 1
1015 Wien
Tel.: (+43 1) 534 10-252

  • Access: Heldenplatz, Middle Gate of the New Hofburg


Opening hours of the Local Loan

On the Departments

last update 9/3/2015