Since it was founded in 1928, what is now the Weltmuseum Wien has been affiliated with a publicly accessible library. It is particularly intended for scientific research, but is also open to anyone looking for information from the field of cultural and social anthropology.
The core of the contemporary library is formed by ethnological and ethnographic works, as well as a large number of travel reports from the holdings of today's Natural History Museum. With more than 150,000 media items, it is one of the leading European specialist libraries in the field of cultural and social anthropology, especially thanks to its extensive inventory of historical works. The holdings include literature on the history of the collections and museums, current cultural and social anthropological topics, globalisation, museology, migration, restitution, and post-colonialism as well as exhibition and inventory catalogues of ethnological museums, lexicons, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, and historical maps.
The magazine catalogue currently lists more than 3,000 national and international journal titles. The valuable historical inventory of largely complete journal series is continuously supplemented by existing subscriptions, granting access to recent publications.