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Guide in the maze of female and gender-specific knowledge

Ariadne, Frauenliteratur, Österreichische NAaionalbibliothek

Ariadne was set up in 1992 as the women’s information and women’s documentation office at the Austrian National Library. It was created in a period of awakening for the New Women’s Movement (since the 1970s) with a range of thematic focuses, programmes and a significant rise in the knowledge production of university and extramural women’s research and feminist science. The aim was and is to do justice to the special information needs of women’s and gender studies, also in a large, institutionalised library such as the Austrian National Library. The focus of Ariadne is on collecting the widely dispersed published female/gender-relevant and feminist knowledge, to provide information about it and to digitalise it.

In the Ariadne programme, the name says it all as its aim is to take the threads “from the maze of female-specific knowledge” and “offer secure guidelines for targeted searches in the publication maze of women’s, feminist and gender studies.» Christa Bittermann-Wille and Helga Hofmann-Weinberger, the founders and subsequently » Lydia Jammernegg and » Eva Zimmermann made and are still working to make Ariadne a “place for women and their information needs” and a “service point for women’s and gender studies at the Austrian National Library”. Through their focus on collecting humanities work, Ariadne works increasingly in various projects to improve the visibility of historical holdings – which is why we are also the first point of contact for historical enquiries related to women. Over the years, this has resulted in the creation of a female/gender-specific knowledge portal and a virtual reading space. We also feel guided here by the principle of a famous Austro-American women’s researcher, who we also knew personally – Gerda Lerner (1920-2013): “Women’s history is the primary tool for women’s emancipation




Josefsplatz 1
A-1015 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (1) 534 10-487, 457
Fax: +43 (1) 534 10-437


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