The Romanian collection encompasses approximately 70,000 books.
It plays a special role in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. The holdings currently grow by approximately 1,000 monographs and 300 current periodicals annually. Around 70% of these are from Romania and 30% from the neighbouring countries and from the rest of Europe and the world. The major part of the collection still consists of printed materials, complemented by a number of manuscripts, archive materials on microfilm and, since 2000, also by extensive databases. The proportion of less than 1% of the new acquisitions that is constituted by electronic journals and books is currently still comparatively low. While the focus of the Romanian collection is predominantly on humanities, like that of the library in its entirety, it has a further focus on medicine in the field of periodicals.
The greatest gem of the Romanian collection is the Gospel book commissioned by Stephen the Great, bearing the call number Cod. Slav 1.
Gospel book (Cod. Slav 1)
The Rumanica also include a number of further incunabula or copied manuscripts, which were created in the German language area though:
The two Dracula incunabula ("Dracole Wayda", Nuremberg 1488, Augsburg 1494) which are obviously both based on a common original text, depict the barbaric image of the Wallachian Prince Vlad III (around 1431 – 1476/ 1477). They are two out of at least eleven further prints of this kind, which appeared on the book markets of rich German merchant towns as of 1488. All pamphlets start with a very brief biography of Vlad III, followed by an unsystematic listing of almost 50 gruesome anecdotes from his reign: mass impaling of opponents and subjects, cooking, cutting off of breasts, frying children, coerced cannibalism and much more.
The spreading of these historically largely made up stories is doubtlessly connected with the growing reading public's craving for sensation. Their general interest in all things exotic, particularly in the Balkans and the "Turk peril", ultimately served a region characterized by cultural and material progress to develop a sense of self.
Chronicle about Stephen the Great
The chronicle written in the German language in the year 1499 in the Duchy of Moldavia came to Nuremberg along with Stephen the Great three years later, in 1502. The first part of the original manuscript was based on a church-Slavonic text; the second part was authored by an unknown chronicler. Considering its linguistic style, it can be concluded that the author must have been a Transylvanian Saxon, possibly from Sibiu.
Stephen the Great was ill when he stayed in Nuremberg, and Hartmann Schedel was asked to find a physician for him. During this time, Hartmann Schedel copied the chronicle. The original manuscript is presumed to have been lost on the way back when the baggage of Stephen the Great was attacked.
The provenance of the copy is interesting as well, since it formed part of the collection at the time of the foundation of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. In 1552, Melchior Schedel (the grandson of Hartmann Schedel) sold the manuscript to Hans Fugger, from where the manuscript later came to the collection owned by Albrecht von Widmannstätter. The copy originally encompassed 300 pages, of which 32 have been preserved.
Chronicle about Stephen the Great (Clm 952)
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