Posted on Wednesday December 2, 2015

Updated on Monday September 18, 2017

Portraits Collection of the Austrian National Library

More than 200,000 engravings, woodcuts and other art objects of historic personalities are included in the Portraits Collection of the Austrian National Library.

This collection is divided into two major groups: ‘Regents and Nobles’, which includes the portraits of European and non-European Regent dynasties and ‘People’. ‘Regents and Nobles’ is divided into six categories: popes, emperors, kings, nobles, Austrian dukes and other kings. ‘People’ is organised into eight categories: ‘office holders’, ‘citizens’, ‘women’, ‘clergy’, ‘scientists’, ‘artists’, ‘military’ and ‘marginal groups’. Within the historical categories, portraits are grouped by eras and centuries.

The collection originally dates back to the year 1785 when the young Archduke, later Emperor Francis I (1768-1835), acquired the first engravings for his private collection. Lastly, these documents have been collated by The Picture Archive of the Austrian National Library, Austria’s largest picture documentation centre and the centre for digital images of all holdings and collections.

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