batthyaneum branch

The Batthyaneum Library from Alba Iulia was founded on July 31, 1798, at the initiative of the roman Catholic Bishop of Transylvania Batthyány Ignác (1741-1798). Together with an astronomical observatory, several collections of museum character, the library was part of the cultural foundation of public interest created by the bishop called Institutum Batthyaniani/ Batthyani’s Institute in Alba Iulia.
The Institute was arranged in the building of the former Trinitarian Church in Alba Iulia. The edifice, built in the Baroque style between 1719-1738, underwent changes during the 18th century imposed by its successive functions: a two-tower church (1719-1784), then a military hospital (1786-1792) and an astronomical observatory And library (1792-1798).

Today's core of the Batthyaneum library, as well as its thesaurus, is the private collection of Bishop Batthyány Ignác, consisting of 18,000 bibliographic units, prints and manuscripts dated back to the 9th century. They were purchased through acquisitions made during the last two decades of the 18th century. The most important are the library of the Archbishop of Vienna, Cristoforo Migazzi, and the library of the Church of Saint Jacob in Levoča.

Donations were the main form of enrichment for the library funds during the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. The astronomical observatory only functioned until the Revolution of 1848 when it was bombed. Later, it was turned into a museum for a period of a century. The library has been functioning uninterrupted until today, being managed by the Roman Catholic bishopric of Alba Iulia until 1953. In 1962, it became a subsidiary of the Central State Library, the current National Library of Romania.

The most representative room of the library, Aula Magna, preserves the arrangement of the late 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, in the Austrian style "Zopf", a mixture of Neoclassicism and Rococo, having the same interior structure of the space in the uppermost aisle completed by a gallery, altar and choir.  In 1912, it was established the foundation for a valuable archeology and sacred art museum which has enriched its collections in the interwar period, the same period from which the Batthyaneum name is atested. The value of the Library is also given by the two archives of Transylvania, the Cluj-Mănăştur Convent and the Alba Iulia Chapter.

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Opening hours

Registration of readers:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10.00 – 17.45
Tuesday, Thursday: 12.00 – 19.45

Reference desk and reading rooms for current collections:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10.00 – 18.00
Tuesday, Thursday: 12.00 – 20.00

Reading rooms foe special collections:
►„Alexandre Saint Georges” reading room (old and rare books, manuscripts, photographs, historical archive.), 5th floor: 
Monday- Friday: 10.00 – 18.00.

►The audio-video "George Enescu" reading room is temporarily closed, starting June 5, 2018. Special musical documents can be found at the "Alexandre Saint Georges" reading room, the 5th floor:
Tuesday - Thursday: 10:00 - 18:00.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10.00 - 12.30

Open reading spaces:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 08.00 – 18.00
Tuesday, Thursday: 08.00 – 20.00
Saturday: 09.00 – 17.00 

The National ISBN-ISSN-CIP Center - informations by phone:
Monday - Friday: 12.00 - 16.00


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