Library use

For the use of the Departmental Library of Cultural and Social Anthropology (FB KSA) please note the following:

  • Be sure to check the current opening hours of the Cultural and Social Anthropology Library well in advance, as they may change on short notice due to the current situation.
  • For returns outside of the library's opening hours, you can find more options here. Please check the opening hours of the building in question.
  • The free digitization service for members of the university as well as the paid digitization service for external users are still available. Please fill out the order form and send it to our service email address:
  • In the library the use of the cloakroom is mandatory. Locker keys are available at the Loan Desk. Food and beverages (except bottled water) may not be taken into the reading area.

The primary purpose of the Departmental Library for Cultural and Social Anthropology is to serve everyone who researches, teaches, and studies at the Institute for Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Vienna. In addition, the library is open to the public and anyone interested is welcome.

The library is divided into an open stacks area with lending options and a closed stacks area (magazines, AV media, old and valuable books). Bringing food and beverages (except bottled water) into the reading area is not permitted.

Open stacks

The library is an open access library with lending service. The library regulations for libraries of the University of Vienna apply. All books can be taken from the shelves and borrowed immediately. Direct access to the literature avoids waiting time and allows browsing the shelves. The books are arranged according to regional and subject areas. A "talking signature" makes it possible to assign each book to its location and find it by its sequential number on the shelf. To find a book, please check its signature on u:search.
For Books that have been taken from the open stack shelf and are no longer needed we kindly ask you to place them on the cart provided and refrain from putting them back on the shelf. Books from the reserve shelf can be put back by youself.

Reserve shelf

The semester reserve shelf, ranked according to lecturers' names, provides the most important literature for the courses. Weekend borrowing of these works is possible on Fridays from 12 pm.

Reading area

The reading area offers 36 workstations with a total of 4 research PCs. New acquisitions and the latest issues of current magazines are located on a separate shelf. Reference works, encyclopedias, and bibliographies are situated in the reading area as well.

Closed stacks

The closed stacks are not open to the public and house the periodical collection, AV media, and "old and valuable" books. Permission to visit the closed stacks area is granted upon request. Items can be ordered through u:search and are available for next-day pickup at the Loan Desk. Borrowable items can be borrowed for 28 days; items that cannot be borrowed can be viewed in the reading area.


The journal holdings are located in the closed stacks. The volumes can be ordered via u:search and can be viewed and copied in the reading area; they cannot be borrowed. Full text access to many journals is provided by the EZB (Elektronische Zeitschriftendatenbank). Through u:access (info: ZID) all e-resources can also be used beyond the university campus.


The AV media stock (approx. 200 media) can be ordered and loaned via the OPAC.

Old and valuable books

Books published before 1911 (about 1,900 exemplars) can be ordered via the OPAC for use in the reading area. Loaning of these items is not possible.

Loan Desk

Books can be borrowed at the Loan Desk. A valid borrower's card (valid for the entire library) must be presented. The books in the open access collection can be borrowed for 28 days (plus an extension of another 28 days via the registration function of the online catalog).
Reference books, encyclopedias, bibliographies, periodicals, and the "old collection" may not be loaned, but may be used in the reading area. Books from the reference collection may be loaned from Friday 12:00 pm to Monday 12:00 pm over the weekend. Loaned works can be pre-noticed via the online catalog. Failure to return books on time will result in reminders with overdue fines. The Loan Desk also provides information and assistance in using the library and help with general research questions and subject-specific literature searches.

Research apparatus, project, course apparatus

Research assistants at the University of Vienna have the possibility to borrow books for up to one year with a project or course library card, and for up to two years with a research library card. The name of the borrower is displayed in the online catalog and thus enables other users to access the literature. These exemplars have to remain in the premises of the respective subunit at the University of Vienna.

Copying and Scanning

There are two u:print copy machines and one book scanner available at the openstacks area.
The book scanner is located in the Loan Desk room. Use your flash drive to save your scans.
You can find one copy machine in the Loan Desk room, and another one in the reading room. Using your u:card you can either copy, send scans to your related e-mail-address or print from your flash drive.