University Library LMU

Links and Functions
Language Selection

Breadcrumb Navigation



Mediaeval German manuscripts | Mediaeval Latin manuscripts | Modern manuscripts | Music manuscripts | Microfiche edition

Mediaeval German manuscripts

The University Library owns a considerable number of mediaeval German manuscripts, including several fragments. Most of these manuscripts are text only, many relating to daily affairs. Alongside its varied collections of artes literature and religious prose the University Library also houses works of mediaeval poetry in Middle High German. In addition the University Library numbers in its collections:

  • legal works (Golden Bull, Upper Bavarian land law, several Schwabenspiegel texts, Augsburg town charter law) 
  • calendars
  • cookery books
  • a hunting book
  • medical (esp. prescriptions) and scientific texts 
  • other texts, e.g. a necrology from the Franciscan monastery in Landshut (15th - 18th centuries) 

Most of the codices are from the second half of the 15th century. They originate mostly from Old Bavaria, Franconia and Swabia. The Library also holds a number of Middle German and Dutch texts. The manuscripts emanate from a wide range of provenances, prior owners from church and citizenry, and Bavarian monasteries.

Especially worthy of mention is the so-called house book of Michael de Leone (c. 1350), containing excerpts from Middle High German literature and the oldest German-language cookery book in

Mediaeval Latin manuscripts

The mediaeval Latin manuscripts are mainly of Southern German provenance. The majority originate from the Franciscan monastery in Landshut. In addition to works from France and Bohemia the Library also owns a remarkable number of codices of Italian origin.

Around half of the manuscripts are of an ecclesiastical nature:

  • bibles
  • bible commentaries
  • works of the Church fathers
  • sententiae commentaries
  • collections of sermons
  • ascetic texts
  • pastoral texts
  • monastic rules
  • records of the Council of Constance

Also worth mentioning are legal texts such as the Lex Baiuvariorum, several formularies, lecture notes from Pavia, and other works.

The University Library also owns manuscripts covering most areas of mediaeval knowledge:

  • grammar (e.g. Hebraica)
  • rhetoric
  • philosophy
  • astronomy
  • natural sciences
  • medicine
  • history
  • works of classical authors
  • Renaissance works, chiefly from Italy

Significant mediaeval manuscripts:

  • gospel book from the court school circles of Charlemagne
  • Euclid fragment from Northern France (c. 800)
  • Lex Baiuvariorum, the oldest manuscript on Bavarian folk law in existence (c. 800)
  • texts by Rufinus, Suplicius Severus and St. Augustine (8th-9th century), and Cicero (10th - 11th century)
  • commentary on the Book of Hebrews by Hrabanus Maurus (France, 9th century)
  • fragment strip from the 11th century containing the Walthariusgedicht
  • Weißenburg annals (11th century)
  • body of texts from the Albertist School in Cologne
  • two 13th century illuminated pocket bibles from Northern France and Northern Italy respectively 
  • collection of over 200 letters and speeches, emanating from the area around 15th century Venice 
  • autograph works by Johann Eck and letters by Conrad Celtis  top

Manuscripts from the modern era

The University Library owns a large number of manuscripts from the modern era. Most of them were acquired by the Library as donations made by professors of the University in Ingolstadt, Landshut and Munich. The secularisation movement in 1803 brought further growth in its wake, especially from the Landshut monasteries. In addition, the Library was able to acquire several collections in the course of the last century:

  • collection of letters by Gronovius
  • private library of the Rector of the University and President of the Academy Ignaz von Döllinger (including manuscripts)
  • operation books of the surgeon Johann Nepomuk von Nussbaum, with nearly 25,000 entries 

Outstanding modern manuscripts:

  • portulan chart by Battista Agnese (c. 1550)
  • collection of letters by members of the Dutch family of scholars Gronovius, dating from the 17th century. The 7,000 original items and copies of the correspondence recorded in the collection's 47 volumes cover several European countries 
  • "Topische Geschichte der Universität Ingolstadt" (Topical history of the University of Ingolstadt) by Schafhäutl
  • Collections of letters by Anselm Desing (written between 1721 - 1772) and the medical professor Heinrich P. von Leveling (written between 1742 - 1798)
  • Desings collections of works on German and European history 
  • collection of manuscripts on Bavarian history formerly belonging to the ducal chancellor Johann Georg Herwarth (1553 - 1662)
  • historical educational plays, works of musical drama and Periochae from Jesuit sources and Bavarian monasteries, dating from the 16th to the end of the 18th century
  • a number of library catalogues affording a valuable insight into the history of the sciences and humanities and covering the collections of Johann Georg Herwarth 1656, the theologian and rector Rudolph Clenck 1578, the Jesuits Sebastian Denich 1672 and Theodor Smackers 1721, the Orban collection c. 1730, the collections of the abbot and University Librarian Paul Hupfauer c. 1800, the Jesuit College in Ingolstadt 1596, the Medical Faculty at Ingolstadt, the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Landshut 1731 and the Dominican monastery in Landshut 
  • manuscripts and listeners' notes on the lectures of many professors, in particular from Ingolstadt, Landshut and Munich top

Music manuscripts

The Library's holdings include manuscripts from both the mediaeval and modern eras. Of particular historical significance are several part-books from the 13th century formerly belonging to the humanist and musicologist Heinrich Glarean. The University Library also owns a series of choral manuscripts from Southern German monasteries: 

  • the Dominican monastery in Landshut
  • the Benedictine monastery in Tegernsee
  • the Benedictine monastery in Ebersberg
  • the Premonstratensian monastery in Schäftlarn
  • the Collegiate Endowment of the Augustinian Canons in Moosburg (Moosburg Gradual, c. 1360) 
  • Convent of St. Birgitta in Altomünster


Microfiche edition

All the mediaeval text and music manuscripts are available in a microfiche edition:

Universitätsbibliothek <München, Universität>: Die Handschriften der Universitätsbibliothek München. -
Microfiche ed., cpl. ed. - Erlangen : Fischer. - ISBN 3-89131-200-8 . - c. 124,000 p. on 2,871 microfiches 

The 6 volumes of the edition are shelved in the Lesesaal Altes Buch (Rare Books Reading Room) in the Zentralbibliothek (Main Library) under the call number "0016/AM 85040 H236".

How to search for manuscripts