In the course of the coming three years, the German Research Foundation will fund the development of a union catalogue and of a portal "Orient-Digital" for oriental manuscripts. It is intended to establish common cataloguing standards, to convert printed catalogues into electronic ones and to pool all existing electronic catalogue entries. Under the direction of the Oriental Department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, the Gotha Research Library, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich and the University Computation Center (URZ) Leipzig will be cooperating closely. Academic libraries in Germany host extensive and diverse collections of oriental manuscripts. These constitute an essential part of the written cultural heritage of the world and are of utmost importance as primary sources for various scholarly fields of specialisation.