The libraries of the Natural History Museum Vienna are based on the 18th century Habsburg collections and currently comprise around 500,000 items, of which roughly 50,000 pre-date the year 1900.

Within the collections there are specific areas of focus reflecting the research fields of the individual departments at the NHM Vienna: anthropology, botany, geology and paleontology, mineralogy and petrology, prehistory, speleology, and zoology.

The works are kept in centralized specialist libraries and in decentralized reference libraries within the museum collections. These libraries are open to the general public. Books cannot be borrowed, but each library has photocopying facilities. The Main Zoological Library, the library of the Department of Geology and Paleontology, as well as the library of the Department of Mineralogy and Petrography have their own librarians; all other libraries are looked after by researchers.

The libraries are a valuable and essential source of information, both for the specialists working at the NHM Vienna as well as for experts from other institutions, students, and members of the public. The Catalogue of Monographs and Journals (Katalog der Monographien und Zeitschriftentitel, KOHA) is also available online and is regularly updated by members of the library staff, who are also responsible for handling interlibrary loan requests.

The libraries and library administration offices can be accessed via the side entrance to the NHM Vienna (Burgring 7, 1010 Vienna). The libraries of the Karst and Caves Working Group and the Department of Ecology and Environmental Education are located in the MuseumsQuartier and can be accessed via the building located at Mariahilfer Straße 2, 1060 Vienna.

Different opening hours apply to the different libraries. Please contact a staff member at the respective library for more information about the opening hours and location of the library within the NHM Vienna.