Medieval manuscripts in Germany – the most important resources

There is a new portal (beta) “Handschriftenportal” with descriptions, digitized catalogs and links to digitized manuscripts that many find exciting.

https://handschriftenportal.de/

I have formulated some criticisms in Archivalia:

https://archivalia.hypotheses.org/163218 (in German, for a machine translation I recommend DeepL).

Not all the content of the old portal manuscripta Mediaevalia has been included.

http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de/

Other resources:

1. List of collections:

Especially for smaller collections it may be necessary to consult a printed manual from 1992 (not online): Handbuch der Handschriftenbestände in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (West Germany only). If you need a photo of a small entry feel free to contact me.

2. List of printed catalogs

There is a revised 2016 version of the worldwide bibliography Kristeller/Krämer:A List of the Printed Cataogues and Unpublished Inventories of Extant Collections:

https://www.mgh-bibliothek.de/kristeller/

For a more recent bibliography see:

https://www.handschriftencensus.de/forschungsliteratur/kataloge

3. List of digitized manuscript catalogs

Ms. Pfeil has recently revised her great list of worldwide digitized manuscript catalogs:

https://www.uni-kassel.de/ub/landesbibliothek/sondersammlungen/handschriftenkataloge

Please drop her a note if you have additions.

4. Projects on manuscripts in the federal states of Germany

Fun fact: There is no known medieval manuscript in a public collection in the Saarland.

There is a printed catalog for the smaller collections in eastern Germany (former GDR): Handschriftencensus der kleineren Sammlungen in den östlichen Bundesländern Deutschlands (2000).

http://bilder.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de/hs//kataloge/HSK0533.htm

Descriptions of a recent project regarding these collections are available via

https://www.ub.uni-leipzig.de/forschungsbibliothek/projekte/projekte-chronologisch-alle/erschliessung-von-kleinsammlungen-mittelalterlicher-handschriften-in-ostdeutschland/

North Rhine Westphalia – the printed volumes “Handschriftencensus” were both online:

http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:hbz:6:1-314409 (Westphalia)

I am shocked to have just seen that the Rhineland section has disappeared.

The internet project Handschriftencensus Rheinland Pfalz is still incomplete but very useful:

http://www.hss-census-rlp.ub.uni-mainz.de

5. Specialised databases

Three important internet resources deal with manuscripts in the German language.

Handschriftencensus

https://handschriftencensus.de/

Catalogue of German-Language Illustrated Medieval Manuscripts

https://kdih.badw.de/datenbank/start

Handschriftenarchiv

https://handschriftenarchiv.bbaw.de/
The 2022 launched website contains all descriptions. Please note that there are a lot of descriptions of latin manuscripts!

The Rauner Verlag has manuscript databases, some of which are free to use. The three most important ones require a licence.

– Sigrid Krämer: Bibliothecae codicum medii aevi (is an augmented version of her “Handschriftenerbe” – you can use the printed volumes for free in the database of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, see below)
– Sigrid Krämer: Scriptores possessoresque codicum medii aevi
– Analecta carminum medii aevi

http://webserver.erwin-rauner.de/

If there is no other way to get an entry at all, you can contact me.

For the “Geschichtsquellen” (mostly latin historical sources, German part of the Repertorium fontium) there is a manuscript index at

https://www.geschichtsquellen.de/hs

Please note that Roman Deutinger is continuously adding information on the manuscript tradition and digitized manuscripts.

6. Medieval library catalogs

All volumes of Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz are freely available in the publication database of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften. I have just seen that there is a new project database with additions.

https://mbk.badw.de/mbk-digital.html

7. Bindings

“Discover rubbings and original book covers on book bindings of the 15th and 16th century in the German-speaking region”

https://www.hist-einband.de/en/

8. Watermarks

https://www.wasserzeichen-online.de/wzis/index.php?sprache=en

9. Digitized manuscripts

There are a lot of projects. A simple way to find them is browsing the List of manuscript reproductions (single pages and whole manuscripts) of manuscripts in German at

https://www.handschriftencensus.de/abbildungen

Here is a list of cities where libraries with large digital medieval manuscript collections are located:

Augsburg, Bamberg, Berlin, Bremen, Darmstadt, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Erfurt, Erlangen, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Fulda, Gotha, Gießen, Göttingen, Greifswald, Halle, Hamburg, Hannover, Heidelberg, Jena, Karlsruhe, Kassel, Kiel, Köln, Leipzig, Lübeck, Mainz, Munich, Nürnberg, Stuttgart, Trier, Tübingen, Weimar, Wolfenbüttel, Würzburg.

Libraries hosting digitized manuscripts for other libraries on a large scale are:

Greifswald, University Library: Digitale Bibliothek Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

https://www.digitale-bibliothek-mv.de/ (60 manuscripts from Stadtarchiv Stralsund)

Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/handschriften (other Bavarian state libraries)

To find a digital reproduction of a single manuscript I would first check the new Handschriftenportal.

10. Virtual reconstructions of monastic libraries

See my list at

https://archivalia.hypotheses.org/131642 (in German)

WHAT HAVE I FORGOTTEN?


Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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