Bavarica in the Hebrew collection


Already at the time of foundation of the court library, important Hebrew manuscripts and printed works came to the court library's holdings through the purchase of the libraries of the humanist and Orientalist Johann Albrecht Widmannstetter and Johann Jakob Fugger by Duke Albrecht V. Special mention should be made in this context of Cod.hebr. 36, an omnibus manuscript about mathematics and astronomy crafted in Asia Minor around 1600, and Cod.hebr. 217 – 219, containing the Zohar, the main work of the Jewish Kabbalah, with notes in the margins by Widmannstetter.

Omnibus manuscript on mathematics and astronomy  (Cod.hebr. 36)

In the course of the secularisation, further Hebrew works came to the court library, among them Cod.hebr. 95, the oldest and the world's only almost completely preserved manuscript of the Babylonian Talmud from the holdings of the Chapter of Augustinian Canons of Polling. From the possessions of the monastery of Tegernsee, the library holds Cod.hebr. 200, a Passover Haggadah with miniatures, which was created in the Bavarian region at the end of the 15th century and to which polemic comments were added in Latin at the monastery.

Babylonian Talmud  (Cod.hebr. 95)
Passah Haggadah  (Cod.hebr. 200)

Hebrew manuscripts at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – Cod.hebr.  (manuscripts available on bavarikon)

Printed works

The Jewish community in Sulzbach operated its own Jewish print shop as of 1684, with the support of the Count Palatine Christian August. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds numerous printed works from this print shop, among them two editions of the Talmud.

Printed works of the Hebrew print shops in Fürth produced in the 18th century can be found likewise among the library's holdings, for example from one of the most important print shops, the print shop Hirsch in Zirndorf, founded in 1755 by Chaim b. Zbi Hirsch and taken over by Isaak (Itzig) Zirndorfer.

Further information

Displaced persons collection

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek collects publications from the so-called DP time, when relief organisations printed religious and political literature in the Hebrew and in particular the Yiddish language in Bavaria for the survivors of the holocaust and in their displaced persons' camps. Bearing witness to the horror of living through and surviving the Shoah, they simultaneously commemorate its end and the liberation 70 years ago.


Wimmer, Stefan Jakob: Publikationen aus jüdischen DP-Camps an der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Henkel, Anne-Katrin; Rahe, Thomas (ed.): Publizistik in jüdischen Displaced-Persons-Camps im Nachkriegsdeutschland: Charakteristika, Medientypen und bibliothekarische Überlieferung. Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2014. p. 169-183.