In 2004 a project was launched together with a team of library trainees to examine the so-called "Tanzenberg Collection" in the holdings of the Vienna University Library. The scope of the project has since been expanded to include provenance research on looted books which were acquired by the Main Library between 1938 and 1945. More recently, in March 2006, a new project was started to focus on the holdings of the 50 sublibraries, which are part of the University Library itself.
Thus more than 60 years after the end of World War Two, the University Library has now also decided to confront its "Nazi past". Although the Library is, unlike the Austrian National Library, under no legal obligation to carry out such provenance research, the library's head librarian Maria Seissl has initiated this project in order to ascertain whether books looted during the Nazi period and subsequently acquired by the University Library are still in the library holdings today and, if so, to return them to their rightful owners or their heirs.
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