‘A monastery without a library is like a fortress without an armoury’. This saying is entirely justified: for books have always been the spiritual ‘armour’ of religious. They were required for liturgy and spiritual reading as well as for scientific matters, for teaching and administration.
The history of the Abbey Library begins with the foundation of the monastery in 1074. It is pretty certain that the small group of monks from Salzburg, who took up monastic life in Admont in the autumn of 1074, brought a basic stock of books from their mother monastery St Peter. In addition, early book donations were made by the founder of the monastery, Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg.