Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I hereby continue my series about remarkable libraries. Today: the Vienna University of Technology's library (short: UBTUW). The library was founded in 1815, its current premises were finished in 1987. It has a very pleasant working atmosphere (which is not self-evident in Austrian academic libraries), it offers an extensive open-access shelving area (which is not...), and the staff is very friendly (which is not...).
One of the most remarkable features is the so-called "Eiserne Kassa" (~iron till). It is a vault where the really valuable books are stored. During my internship in 2001/02, I had the possibility to glance at its content, and I did some research on the authors, the books and the prices that similar items were dealt with by antiquarian book-sellers; e.g. early editions by the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler. But normally, users don't have the opportunity to look at it. So I content myself with other books about quantum physics (alas only the more popular ones), the relation of philosophy & science and information retrieval.

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