Dr. Ivo Josipovic (President of Croatia), Dr. Heinz Fischer (President of Austria), Dr. Johanna Rachinger (Director-General of the Austrian National Library) and Borut Pahor (President of Slovenia)

Three presidents visit the Austrian National Library's First World War exhibition

Posted on centenarynews.com on 26 March 2014
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The presidents of Austria, Croatia and Slovenia visited the new First World War exhibition at the Austrian National Library this month.

Director- General of the Library, Dr. Johanna Rachinger, greeted the President of Austria, Dr. Heinz Fischer; the President of Croatia, Dr. Ivo Josipovic; and the President of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, before taking them on a tour of the Austrian National Library.

After being shown illustrated parchment manuscripts from the 12th and 13th centuries and prints from the 16th century, the presidents were lead to the new First World War exhibition in the State Hall, which opened on the 17th March 2014.

To my Peoples!

Professor Manfried Rauchensteiner, a historian and former Director of the Military History Museum in Vienna, curated the exhibition, entitled An Meine Völker! Der Erste Weltkrieg 1914-1918 (To My Peoples! The First World War 1914-1918).

The exhibition includes items from the collections of the National Library, which was known as the Hofbibliothek (Imperial Library) until 1920.

The Hofbibliothek immediately began to collect testimonies about the First World War upon its outbreak in 1914 and continued to do so throughout the conflict.

Tens of thousands of photographs, posters, literary texts, pieces of sheet music, war diaries and other objects have remained in the possession of the National Library from the period, and some are on display at the exhibition.

Dr. Rachinger showed the presidents around the exhibition, which includes items in languages reflecting the Habsburg Empire's multi-ethnic makeup - "and thus, the common past of the three EU countries".

Many of these original documents are also being digitised as part of the National Library’s efforts to mark the Centenary.

Source: Austrian National Library

Images courtesy of the Austrian National Library

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News