Bavarica in the manuscripts and personal papers


The Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek preserves a very large collection of holdings related to Bavaria. A large part of the materials would also be likely to be found in archives. The following list gives an overview of the holdings of the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books that are of relevance to the field of Bavarica.

Overview of the collection of "Manuscripts, personal papers and autographs"

Collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek by topic  (on bavarikon)
Collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek by groups of call numbers  (on bavarikon)

Codices bavarici – Manuscripts on the history of Bavaria

Manuscripts on the history of Bavaria, in particular from the fields of culture, the history of ideas, law and economy, were collected in the collection group of Codices bavarici (Cod.bav.) as of 1812 and catalogued by Franz Hoheneicher between 1827 and 1834 (Cbm Cat. 89). In the course of the final formation of the manuscript holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek by Johann Andreas Schmeller, the collection group of Codices bavarici was discontinued around 1845 (see also Cbm Cat. 87), however, and the manuscripts were reorganized to form part of the respective language-related manuscript collection groups. They were transferred in the form of a complete series, though:

  • The Latin Codices bavarici (formerly Cod.bav. 1 – 1329) are classified today as Clm 1001 – 2329.
    Latin manuscripts – Clm  (in bavarikon)
  • The German-language Codices bavarici (formerly Cod.bav. 1501 – 3587) are classified today as Cgm 1501 – 3587.
    German manuscripts – Cgm  (in bavarikon)
  • The French-language Codices bavarici are now classified as Cod.gall. 528 – 574.
    French manuscripts – Cod.gall.  (in bavarikon)
  • The Italian-language Codices bavarici can now be found under Cod.ital. 381 – 418.
    Italian manuscripts – Cod.ital.  (in bavarikon)
  • Likewise, Cod.angl. 7 used to be a Codex bavaricus.

However, manuscripts related to Bavaria can also be found outside of these closed groups. New acquisitions of the time after the formation of the holdings have been classified consecutively, in the order of acquisition. Among them, there is also the important cessation by the Bavarian State Agency for Statistics of the year 1913 (Cgm 6844 – 6881, amounting to a total of 780 manuscripts together with the partial volumes).

Since the majority of the former Codices bavarici was created only after the year 1500, it is still required to consult the catalogues of the 19th century for searching.

Classification of the manuscripts
Repertory of the Codices bavarici, compiled by Johann Andreas Schmeller (Cbm Cat. 87)
Latin Codices bavarici as of Clm 1001 in the catalogue of Latin manuscripts of 1892
German Codices bavarici as of Cgm 1501 in the catalogue of German manuscripts of 1866
Cessation of the Bavarian State Agency for Statistics of 1913 in the handwritten catalogue of German manuscripts Cgm 5155 – 7385

Important holdings

A detailed description of the contents of the Bavaria-related manuscripts still remains a desideratum. The best overview was compiled by Paul Ruf and was published in the Zeitschrift für bayerische Landesgeschichte (Journal for Bavarian regional history) in 1955.

Ruf, Paul: Codices bavarici: Handschriften zur Geschichte Bayerns in der Bayer. Staatsbibliothek. In: Zeitschrift für bayerische Landesgeschichte 18 (1955), p. 1-39.

Bavarian historiographers

The former Cod.bav. contain manuscripts of the Bavarian historiographers, such as Otto von Freising, Ulrich Füetrer, Veit Arnpeck or Andreas von Regensburg.

The collection also encompasses manuscripts of the probably most important Bavarian historiographer, Johannes Aventinus, the author of the Bavarian chronicle, among them the original autographs of the Latin and the German version of the chronicle and material collections.

Otto von Freising, Chronica sive Historia de duabus civitatibus  (Clm 1003)
Ulrich Füetrer's book of adventures of the knights of the round table  (Cgm 1)
Johannes von Aventin, Bavarian chronicle, volume 1  (Cgm 1566)

Chronicles, historical works and sources from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek 
(objects of the collection available on bavarikon)

Topographies and statistics

The Codices bavarici contain numerous topographies, predominantly from the 18th century. Further, the collection contains numerous manuscripts on cities and market towns.

Philipp Apian's description of Bavaria in words and images is also of immeasurable value to the Bavarian regional history. His topography of Bavaria is preserved under Clm 1243.

Under the classification marks Cgm 6844 – 6881, the complete earlier, unprinted documentation by the Bavarian State Agency for Statistics can be found. The following holdings should be mentioned specially:

  • Montgelas statistics (Cgm 6844 – 6862)
    The Montgelas statistics are the earliest statistical survey carried out for the modern state of Bavaria. The 430 folders contain statistical surveys of the years 1809/ 10, 1811/ 12 and addenda for the newly acquired territories of Aschaffenburg (1814/ 15) and Würzburg (1815/ 16). The surveys are subdivided into the administrative and regional court districts of the time. They encompass materials on buildings, the population, lists of births, marriages and deaths, up to records of prisons, vaccination against smallpox and the culture of the region.
  • Cadastral land registers of 1840 and 1852 (Cgm 6871 – 6872)
    These comprehensive cadastres list all locations of Bavaria with comprehensive statistical data (population, religious denomination, economic structure). They are the precursors of the official location registers of Bavaria published as of 1875. Both cadastres, each of which comprises 18 to 20 partial volumes, are preserved in the library of the Bavarian State Agency for Statistics as a permanent loan.
  • Bayerische Physikatsberichte (Cgm 6874)
    These medical topographies published in the years 1858 to 1861 were reports prepared on behalf of King Maximilian II by the officially appointed regional physicians of the time. They reported in a standardized form about the nature, flora and fauna of the region, the conditions of living of the population, the economic situation, clothing, healthcare, traditions, etc. of the respective regional court districts. Accordingly, these reports constitute a unique source for researching the history of the society, the environment and medicine. The Physikatsberichte for the Upper Bavarian regional court districts came to the Historical Association of Upper Bavaria by coincidence.

Geography – works from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek  (objects of the collection available on bavarikon)
Maps and plans from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek  (objects of the collection available on bavarikon)

Law, government and administration

The Codices bavarici contain numerous sources on the government and administration, for example:

  • Law books, such as the Lex Baiuvariorum, the land law of Louis IV (i.a. Cgm 15, Cgm 30), as well as materials on the law codifications of the early modern era.
  • Instructions and regulations for the Electoral Bavarian central authorities of the 17th and 18th century.
  • Sources directly from the life at the court, such as the instruction for court officials (Instruktion für Hofbeamte, Cgm 1962 – 1965, 2991, 2795/2796, 4915), documents of the court collection office (Cgm 2750), of the electoral household and the costs incurred (Cgm 5011, 2222 – 2225, Clm 1381), court dress codes (Cgm 1950 – 1952), castle inventories (Cgm 2120 – 2122) or ducal prayer books (e.g. Clm 6116).
  • The complete series of debates of the Bavarian regional parliament since the year 1514 (i.a. Cgm 2327 – 2488).
  • Landtafeln (registers of the estates of the nobility, monasteries, cities and market towns), the first one of 1436 (i.a. Cgm 1801).
  • Tax assessments of the individual locations, monasteries, domains of Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate of the 17th century (Cgm 3070).

Law and administration – works from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek  (objects of the collection available on bavarikon)

Military and warfare

The holdings encompass sources on the military from court tournament and fencing books of the Middle Ages up to service and exercising regulations of the Bavarian military (e.g. Cgm 2144, 3239), fortification teachings (i.a. Cgm 912) and representations of war, such as the Landshut war of succession (Cgm 808) or of the Thirty Years' War (i.a. Cgm 1937 –1939).

Fencing books and war tracts from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek 
(objects of the collection available on bavarikon)

Genealogy and heraldry

The extensive holdings of late medieval and early modern books of coats of arms are largely from the possessions of the Bavarian dukes, Bavarian noble families, but also from the Bavarian Agency of the States (Landschaftskanzlei) or imperial cities. By way of example, the armorial of Konrad von Grünenberg (Cgm 145) should be mentioned in this context, the Ortenburg armorial (Cod.icon. 308 u) or the Regensburg armorial of Hans Hylmair (Cgm 2015).

One special part of the holdings is constituted by the collections on the genealogy and heraldry of Old Bavarian nobility compiled by the Freising Prince-Bishop Johann Franz Eckher von Kapfing. In addition to further genealogical chronicles compiled by Eckher, his armorial (Cgm 2270) and a book of tombstones (Cgm 2267) in particular also form part of these collections, documenting numerous monuments which have been lost since. Since Eckher's own genealogy of the nobility has disappeared since the secularisation, the 31-volume strong, crest-adorned genealogy of the Bavarian nobility compiled by his secretary Johann Michael Wilhelm von Prey (Cgm 2290) has to be considered the culmination of these endeavours.

One important source for genealogy is the family registers, with the oldest ones going back to the 16th century.

With respect to the patriciate of imperial cities, the holdings encompass family and marriage registers of the 16th and 17th century from Augsburg (Cgm 3031 – 3041) and Nuremberg (Cgm 2053 –2056).

Nobility genealogies from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek  (objects of the collection available on bavarikon)

Monasteries, convents and bishoprics

Due to the secularisation, handwritten records of Bavarian monasteries came to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in large numbers, also encompassing documents on the history and internal structure of the monasteries.

For the prosopography of the convents, the necrologies (Clm 1004 ff.) are of central importance, of which mostly only the medieval ones have come to the library. In addition, there are numerous Latin or German monastery chronicles or annals. Large monasteries such as Tegernsee, St. Emmeram in Regensburg, Polling or Wessobrunn additionally left extensive materials on the worldly and ecclesiastic history of Bavaria (i.a. Clm 1807, 1890 – 1905). Documentation can be found on the Bavarian Benedictine congregation as well.

Information about the internal structures of the congregations can be found in the rules of the congregations, but also in the statutes and consuetudinaries and visitation files. The library catalogues of the monastery libraries formed the collection group of Codices bavarici monacenses catalogi. They offer valuable information about the holdings, reading habits and the educational canon of the monasteries up to the 19th century.

Texts for remembrance of the dead from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek 
(objects of the collection available on bavarikon)

Schools and universities

The collection comprises text books, in particular arithmetic books, which have been preserved partly since the Middle Ages (e.g. Clm 14783).

The majority of items go back to the university of Ingolstadt and the Jesuit grammar school in Munich, today's Wilhelmsgymnasium. With respect to the university, there are lectures and extensive material collections. The extensive sources on the Munich grammar school include diaries, invoice books and lectures, but in particular also the student registers.

Notes of lectures from the early modern era can be found from the universities of Ingolstadt, Dillingen and Salzburg and also from the in-house studies of numerous monasteries.

Texts of baroque school dramas have been preserved from many Bavarian schools, written in the Latin and in the German language, predominantly at the Jesuit institutions. The most famous piece from this group of texts is presumably the "Cenodoxus" by the Jesuit P. Jakob Bidermann (Clm 11797); and manuscripts of the plays of Jakob Balde (Clm 27271) should be mentioned as well.

Cenodoxus by the Jesuit P. Jakob Bidermann  (Clm 11797, sheet 151v – 243r)

Scientific textbooks from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek  (objects of the collection available on bavarikon)

Belles lettres

Among the manuscripts of relevance to Bavaria, numerous literary works can be found, which are partly even world-famous. The collection documents the literary production in the region of Old Bavaria/ Upper Germany since the Middle Ages in comprehensive manner. One noteworthy characteristic is the parallel development of Latin and German poetry up to the 18th century, which can be explained by the great importance of priests and secular priests for the literature production.

From the early and high middle ages, for example the manuscripts of the "Wessobrunn prayer" (Clm 22053), the "Muspili" (Clm 14098), the "Willehalm" (Cgm 193,III) and the "Parzival" (Cgm 19) by Wolfram von Eschenbach or the manuscripts A (Cgm 34) and D (Cgm 31) of the "Nibelungenlied" should be mentioned.

From the high and late middle ages, predominantly spiritual literature has been preserved, for example life stories of saints from the Augsburg region (e.g. "Das Leben des hl. Ulrich" by Albert von Augsburg (Cgm 94)) or passion plays (e.g. Cgm 4370).

The chronicles of the late middle ages and early modern era, such as the Augsburg chronicle by Sigismund Meisterlin (Cgm 213), are likewise of literary value. From the context of the Munich court of the 15th century, the knights' book "Das Buch der Abenteuer" ("Book of adventures", Cgm 1) by Ulrich Füetrer merits mention, which was written by Füetrer for Duke Albrecht IV.

A typical feature of the literature of the imperial cities in the 15th and 16th century are the Meistersinger songs by Hans Sachs (Cgm 5103) or by Hans Folz (Cgm 6353).

From the baroque era of literature of the 17th century, the "Rhitmorum varietas" by Johannes Werlin (Cgm 3636) has been preserved in addition to the many Jesuit school dramas and pastoral poems. This handwritten collection of songs of the 16th and 17th century created between 1646 and 1648 is considered to be one of the most important sources of German songs of the early baroque period.

From the time of enlightenment, the dramas of the Benedictine Ferdinand Rosner merit mention (new version of the "Oberammergau passion play", with the earlier version of the 17th century being present likewise).

Around 1800, the two-volume "Stubenberger songbook" (Cgm 7340) was created, which is one of the most important sources on popular songs of this time.

Manuscripts, letters and materials about authors since the 19th century can be found predominantly among the personal papers. However, such materials are partly also classified as Cgm, for example books with minutes of the Munich society "Zwanglose Gesellschaft" or novel manuscripts by Paul Heyse, Heinrich Lautensack or Friedrich Rückert.

One special feature is the collection of autographs of authors and other important personalities compiled during the 19th century. Important unique specimens by authors such as Lessing, Körner, Hölderlin, E. T. A. Hoffmann or Tolstoy are classified among the collection group Autogr.Cim.

Literature in Bavaria – works from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek  (objects of the collection available on bavarikon)

Letters, diaries, memoirs

The oldest collection of letters held by the library is from the monastery of Tegernsee, written by the monk Froumund and dating back to the 11th century (Clm 19412). The collection Clm 19697 comprises an exchange of letters between monks from Tegernsee and from other monasteries debating reform.

The collection Camerarius contains files and the political correspondence of Ludwig Camerarius († 1651), chancellor of Elector Frederick V of Palatinate (Clm 10351 – 10428). The library holds a large number of letter exchanges between scholars going back to between the 16th and the 18th century, with the correspondence of Augustinian Canons from Polling of the 18th century being of particular importance.

A collection of soldiers' letters of the First World War is outstanding as well (Cgm 7157 – 7159, 7304).

The presumably oldest memoirs from the German-language area have been preserved likewise at the Staatsbibliothek, namely the "Liber de temptationibus" written by the monk Otloh of St. Emmeram (around 1010 – 1070, Clm 14756).

Handwritten library catalogues

In the classification group of Codices bavarici monacenses Catalogi (Cbm Cat.), numerous historical library catalogues are preserved. The collection is subdivided into several groups:

  1. Early catalogues of the Munich court library, starting with the oldest preserved catalogues of the time around 1575. Important library-historical information is conveyed by the catalogues compiled at the outset of the 19th century in the course of the new cataloguing in the wake of the collection growth due to the secularisation. A number of handwritten catalogues were continued until the start of the 21st century.
  2. Library catalogues of secularised ecclesiastic institutions. The earliest catalogues of Bavarian monastery libraries were started around 1600 upon order by Duke Maximilian I (Cbm Cat. 1 – 3). They were complemented by numerous individual catalogues during the 17th and 18th century.
  3. The group also includes catalogues of various other libraries, which were incorporated in the court and state library predominantly around the year 1800, among others the Mannheim court library, the parliamentary library (Landschaftsbibliothek) of Munich or that of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.
  4. Catalogues of private libraries, which came to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in the course of donations or purchases (various Bavarian rulers, Franz von Krenner, Maximilian von Montgelas).

Kellner, Stephan; Spethmann, Annemarie: Historische Kataloge der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München: Münchner Hofbibliothek und andere Provenienzen. Wiesbaden, 1996.

Handwritten library catalogues at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – Cbm Cat.  (collection on bavarikon)

Codices iconographici

The collection of Codices iconographici is connected with the history of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek from the very start, and thereby also connected with Bavaria with regard to content. The impressive "picture books" on the natural sciences of the secular world were popular collection items for the Wittelsbach rulers, which they partly acquired for the holdings of their court library or had them transferred to the library from the treasure vault in the 19th century.

Further information

Codices iconographici at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – Cod.icon. 
(collection available on bavarikon)

Cod.icon. of relevance to Bavaria

Some examples of Codices of relevance to Bavaria are:

Genealogy, heraldry and court context

  • Book of coats of arms of German families by Nikolaus Bertschi († 1542) from Augsburg  (Cod.icon. 308)
  • Elegant tournament book by Hans Burkmair the Younger, based on models of his father from Augsburg, assignable to the context of memorial politics of Emperor Maximilian I  (Cod.icon. 403, from the possessions of Montgelas).
  • „Ars athletica“: Compendium on the art of fencing by Paul Hektor Mair (1517 – 1579), around 1550, from Augsburg  (Cod.icon. 393(1 and Cod.icon. 393(2)
  • „Kleinodienbuch“ (book of gems) created by the Munich painter Hans Mielich (1516 – 1573), inventorying the jewels of Duchess Anna of Bavaria in the form of images  (Cod.icon. 429)
  • Millennial genealogical tree of Palatine Wittelsbach  (Cod.icon. 388)
  • Manuscript of the fencing book by Hans Thalhofer from the year 1467  (Cod.icon. 394 a)


  • Terrestrial globe (1576) of the great geographer Philipp Apian (1531 – 1589) (Cod.icon. 129), which, together with the associated celestial globe (Cod.icon. 186) of the Jesuit Heinrich Arboreus, formed part of the court library's first equipment items.
    Terrestrial globe as a 3D object
    Celestial globe as a 3D object
  • Preparatory drawings by Philipp Apian for the first map of Bavaria of 1563 that was based on a land survey of extraordinary exactness of mathematical-astronomical determination of longitude and latitude  (Cod.icon. 142)
  • Topographic views of Regensburg by Georg Sigmund Rentz, 1640  (Cod.icon 198)

Botany and zoography


The Codices iconographici have been digitized and catalogued in the database CodIcon Online.

CodIcon Online

Personal papers of Bavarian persons

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has collected personal papers of scholars and artists from Bavaria systematically since the 19th century.

The collection includes predominantly materials from intellectuals of the 19th century, from Munich groups such as the "Zwanglose Gesellschaft" or the "Krokodile". To mention a number of examples: Paul Heyse, Wilhelm von Kaulbach, Leo von Klenze, Hermann Lingg or Emma Klingenfeld. One important collection from the 20th century is constituted by the personal papers of the author Heinz Piontek.

Personal papers of members of the house of Wittelsbach are preserved likewise. Containing reports and images of her numerous expeditions, the personal papers of Theresa of Bavaria are particularly interesting. The personal papers of Ludwig I are also kept in the Staatsbibliothek. Among them, there are autographs of his own works, letters and the diaries, which can be consulted subject to prior approval only.

Among the personal papers ofimportant scientists, there are for example those of the botanist and explorer Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, Alois Senefelder, the inventor of lithography, the researcher of Japan Philipp Franz von Siebold, the chemist Justus Liebig and those of the brothers Schlagintweit.

The personal papers of the historian and professor Johann Nepomuk Sepp (1816 – 1909, Seppiana) form part of the personal papers of classical scholars from the environment of the Munich university. He was a member of the Görres circle and author of writings on Bavarian mythology. His personal papers include autobiographic documentation, letters and manuscripts of individual works.

The personal papers of the musicologist Adolf Sandberger (Ana 431) contain correspondence, as well as manuscripts and materials on musicological topics. Sandberger was the founder of the society that published the series "Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Bayern" (Monuments of musical art in Bavaria).

The professor of literature Hyazinth Holland collected extensive materials on authors, artists and scholars from newspapers, journals and books, serving as a consultant on artistic-iconographic issues to King Ludwig II, among other things (Hollandiana).

Some important ones among the sets of personal papers of historians held by the Staatsbibliothek are: the personal papers of Johannes Aventinus, Andreas Kraus, Karl Bosl, Michael Döberl, Karl Theodor von Heigl, Max Spindler and Guido von Görres.

Among the interesting personal papers of librarians there are i.a. those of Martin Schrettinger and Karl Halm. The personal papers of Johann Andreas Schmeller contain diaries and research materials. The personal papers of Andreas Felix von Oefele are a treasure chest for all fields of Bavarian history, containing epitaphs, coats of arms and biographies of scholars.

The Kloeckeliana represent a special collection: The personal papers of the judge and local historian Johann Joseph von Kloeckel (1773 –1833) include source materials on regional history and representations of the history and folklore of Bavaria, in particular of the two regional court districts of Aibling and Rosenheim. Kloeckel attempted to carry out a systematic survey of the territory and the population of his office district of Rosenheim by distributing questionnaires to the priests, teachers and municipal clerks of the municipalities. Johann Andreas Schmeller bought and ordered the material for the Staatsbibliothek.

Further information

Personal papers and estates held by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek  (objects of the collection available on bavarikon)