About Us

Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies
University of Alberta
Austrian and Central European Library Collection

Edmonton, Alberta

Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies

Old Arts Building on the University of Alberta campusThe Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies was originally established in 1998 upon an initiative by the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Sciences, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Conference of University Presidents as the “Canadian Centre for Austrian and Central European Studies.” Subsequently the Centre also received the support of the Governments of Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Renamed the “Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies” in October 2003 in recognition of Dr. Manfred and Dr. Alfred Wirth’s generous endowment, our principal mandate is to raise the profile of Central Europe and Central European Studies in Canada and to provide a leadership role in a network of cooperation in this field with other Canadian universities. We act as both an academic and cultural institute and sponsor and organize lectures, conferences, artistic festivals, symposia, concerts, exhibitions and other scholarly and cultural events with an Austrian and central European theme. We also engage in international cooperative ventures with institutions in the United States and Europe.

We assist all relevant units within the university community in the task of having the University of Alberta recognized as the leading center for Central European Studies in Canada. We also work with the Embassies of Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia to maintain and enhance Canada's most outstanding resource centre for Central European Studies for the use of scholars throughout Canada and the United States.

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University of Alberta

University of Alberta CampusOpened in 1908 as a board-governed, public institution, the University of Alberta is one of the top 100 teaching and research universities in the world serving more than 37,000 students with 11,000 faculty and staff. The U of A has an annual budget in excess of $1 billion and attracts more than $480 million in external research funding. It offers close to 400 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in 18 faculties.

The original University of Alberta campus located in the heart of the city of Edmonton on the edge of the North Saskatchewan River valley, covers 89 hectares (about 50 city blocks) with 90 buildings. Today, this campus (now called North Campus) is complemented by a French-language campus, a downtown location, a rural liberal-arts campus, and a South campus.

For further information visit the University of Alberta Website. 

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Austrian and Central European Library CollectionRutherford Library at the University of Alberta

The University of Alberta’s library of over 11 million items includes the most outstanding collection of Austrian and Habsburg materials in Canada, and is among the five leading libraries in the field in North America.

Its collection includes the famous “Priesterseminar” library of the Archbishop of Salzburg, purchased in 1965, and the library of the former Viennese Juridisch-Politischer Leseverein, purchased in 1969. The University of Alberta also houses Canada’s most extensive university map collection, which contains a significant series of rare historical maps of Central Europe not available anywhere else on the North American continent.

With the assistance of the Austrian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak and Slovenian governments this collection is being enhanced by major annual book purchases, which will ensure that the University of Alberta’s collection will remain the premier library for Austrian, Habsburg and other Central European subjects in Canada.

For further information, please visit:

Salzburg Collection at the University of Alberta Libraries

European Studies -- Special Collections

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Edmonton, Alberta

The University of Alberta is located in the heart of the city of Edmonton, the vibrant cosmopolitan capital of the province of Alberta. In a metropolitan area of over one million people, Edmonton has one of the world's most vibrant and competitive economies and boasts Canada’s top-ranked health system. Dubbed “Festival City,” Edmonton teems with culture and arts events year-round, and offers an outstanding quality of life. Edmonton is also known for its expansive parks, including the North Saskatchewan River valley, North America’s largest stretch of urban parkland. It has cold but dry and sunshine-filled winters and very pleasant summers, and is located only a few hours drive from Banff and Jasper National Parks. Edmontonians also enjoy dozens of fitness and sport training facilities, and the city is known for its professional sport franchises, including hockey, football, baseball and lacrosse teams.

For further information visit the City of Edmonton Website. 

 The City of Edmonton Skyline

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