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Page by page – the treasures of the Josephinische Bibliothek

(Vienna, 15th October 2014) There are many valuable treasures in the historic collection held by the Josephinum library at the Medical University of Vienna. The “Page by Page” series of special tours on selected dates will put these hidden jewels on public view.

With this new format, the Josephinum’s librarians will be able to reveal the treasures of their unique, historic collection. To open this series of events, the Josephinische Bibliothek is participating in “Österreich liest. Treffpunkt Bibliothek”, Austria’s largest literary festival, with a journey through five centuries of medical and scientific literature. Then, from November 2014 to June 2015, there will be themed tours on every second Tuesday at 6 p.m. These include evenings on Renaissance anatomical images, magnificent baroque botanical books, incunabula and imperial documents, bibliology and restoration, as well as more exotic subjects such as alchemy and medical astrology. “Besides the spectacular eighteenth century wax models, the Josephinum holds many literary treasures from the history of medicine, and this series is designed to show them off to the public,” explains Vice-Rector Christiane Druml, the Josephinum’s, director.

The Josephinische Bibliothek
The Josephinische Bibliothek was founded in 1786 as the library of the military medical academy established by Joseph II and Giovanni Alessandro Brambilla (surgeon to the Emperor Joseph II). In the course of over 225 years, the stocks of this collection have been continually expanded as historic volumes have been added. The Josephinische Bibliothek now contains a total of 6,377 titles (around 11,500 volumes) published before 1900. The oldest works date from the 16th century. In contents, the Josephinische Bibliothek focuses on surgical specialities. Besides surgery in the narrow sense, it contains a large stock of works on anatomy, ophthalmology and obstetrics. Other key areas of the collection are the most important works of their day on subjects relevant to the faculty of medicine: mineralogy, chemistry, botany and zoology. 

22.10.2014    The Josephinum – Origins & range of the library
11.11.2014    Anatomy
09.12.2014    Botany & Pharmacy
13.01.2015    Veterinary Medicine
10.02.2015    Restoration & bookbinding
10.03.2015    Surgery & field surgery
14.04.2015    Incunabula & documents
12.05.2015    Occult Medicine – Alchemy & Medical Astrology
09.06.2015    Dermatology
Time:         6-7 p.m.*
Cost:          15 Euros

*Exception: the event on 22 October from 5-6 p.m. forms part of the "Österreich liest. Treffpunkt Bibliothek" literary festival and is free to attend.

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