Joseph Von Karabacek (1845-1918)


An Orientalist. He became privatdocent for paleography and numismatics of Islamic peoples at the University of Vienna in 1869, was made professor in 1874, was professor ordinary of of the East and related subjects from 1885 to 1915, and served as prefect of the Court Library from 1899 to 1917.

The library is indebted to him for much of its preeminent collection of ancient texts. In 1893, Karabacek was able to acquire for Vienna around ten thousand Coptic, Greek, and papyri that had been found in the in 1877-1880. His cooperative efforts with were beneficial to him in his purchases for the library, outlined in Die Theodor Graf’schen Funde in Ägypten (Vienna, 1883) and K.-k. österreichisches Museum: Katalog der Theodor Graf’schen Funde in Ägypten (Vienna, 1883). The editions of Arabic texts that he had prepared were continued and published by Adolf Grohmann.

  • Loebenstein, H. “Vom “Papyrus Erzherzog Rainer’ zur Papyrussammlung der österreichischen Nationalbibliothek. 100 Jahre Sammeln, Bewahren, Edieren.” Festschrift zum 100 jährigen Bestehen der Papyrussammlung der österreichischen Nationalbibliothek: Papyrus Erzherzog Rainer. Vienna, 1983.
  • Österreichisches biographisches Lexikon, 1815-1950, Vol. 3, pp. 228-29. Graz and Cologne, 1965.