In 1922, the year the Theatre Collection of the Austrian National Library was established, the extensive book collection purchased from Burgtheater actor Hugo Thimig formed the central holdings around which the other theatralia and non-book materials were grouped. The specialized study library of the Theatermuseum that arose from these beginnings currently contains around 100,000 books, periodical volumes, stage manuscripts and playbills with the emphasis being on drama, musical theatre, dance and ballet, puppet theatre, cinema, television and the radio play. The library of the Theatermuseum, now housed on the first floor of the Lobkowitz Palace, may no longer be a department of the Austrian National Library, but the lion’s share of the Austrian National Library’s pertinent holdings remain on permanent loan to the Theatermuseum. These holdings can be ordered online via the website of the Austrian National Library. Following the search of the overall holdings of the Austrian National Library you can filter the holdings of „Theatermuseum“ via the command „site“.
The Theatremuseum's library holdings are partly recorded electronically. Information and inventory lists can be found under the sub page Holdings. The library of the Theatermuseum is a publicly accessible reference library. The Reading Room and the Catalogue Room are open to the public during opening hours and can be used free of charge. The main reading room is a high-ceilinged baroque room dominated by a rococo tile oven and a spiral staircase dating from the 19th century. The room covers 100 m2 and contains 20 reading stations and open stacks with important reference works. The catalogue room contains card catalogues (author, subject and title catalogues), electronic access to the online catalogue of the Austrian National Library and the Austrian Library Association, the book pickup counter and a copying machine. Books ordered in the catalogue room are retrieved immediately and made available to the user within 15 minutes.
Within the university course „Library and Information Studies 2010/11“ the project THEO – Theaterzettel Online was formed. The project’s aim was the development of a digitalisation concept for the existing playbills of the 19th century belonging to the Theatermuseum’s library inventory. At the same time the concept was to reflect the workflow of a digitalisation project in general for the flexible use with various other projects.
In the course of this undertaking a large part of the playbills which are bound as books were checked for completeness and were recorded. The results of this research are available in a database. By means of this database it is possible to investigate the availability of playbills for certain days of a selected theater. The search can be filtered by year, theater and institution. Only a small selection of playbills of the Viennese court theaters (Burgtheater, Opera) was included in this project database, as these documents are already available as scans via ANNO (AustriaN Newspapers Online), the virtual study room for periodicals of the Austrian National Library.
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