The Slovenian collection encompasses approximately 12,000 titles and currently grows by around 200 to 300 monographs annually.
The collection of Slovenica of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek includes the oldest known Slovenian linguistic monument of all, known as the "Freisinger Denkmäler" ("Freising Monuments"). It goes back to the 10th century and simultaneously represents the oldest written testament to a Slavic language in the Latin script.
Collectio sermonum, tractatuum, formularum liturgicarum canonumque. Formulae liturgicae Slavicae (Freisinger Denkmäler). Freising, 10th – 12th century
Manuscript in the OPACplus/ BSB catalogue, classification mark: Clm 6426
Freisinger Denkmäler (Freising Monuments), Clm 6426
The "Missionshandbuch" (mission handbook) of Bishop Abraham of Freising ranks among the most venerable and, with regard to content, most complex manuscripts held by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. This work is not only a unique relic of the intellectual culture of Bavaria in late Carolingian times, but it simultaneously bears immense cultural and national importance for Slovenia.
The majority of the austere parchment manuscript written by numerous different hands in Carolingian minuscule script was created in Freising during the incumbency of Bishop Abraham (957 – 994). It contains a complex corpus consisting mostly of Latin homiletic and liturgical texts, as well as some parts pertaining to secular and church law. Furthermore, several authentic homilies by Rather of Verona should be stressed, which bear witness to the cultural connections between Bavaria and Northern Italy, a Jewish oath of which only this one specimen has survived, and the single surviving copy of the "Beschlüsse des Landtags zu Ranshofen" (decisions by the Bavarian parliament of Ranshofen), which are regarded as the first territorial law in the German legal and constitutional history. Some smaller passages in the Greek language represent rare evidence of the continued knowledge of this language before the high middle ages.
The mission handbook of Bishop Abraham owes its famousness primarily to the extensive research of the passages in Slavic languages, which was unfortunately partly carried out without taking sufficient account of the cultural context. The so-called "Freising Monuments" (in Slovenian: "Brižinski spomeniki"), taking up altogether 9 of the 338 pages (78 rv, 158 v – 161 v), do not only represent the earliest evidence by far of the Slovenian language and of a Slavic language in Latin script, but at the same time one of the most important documents of medieval Slavic culture, the "Slavia christiana". Like the other texts of the codex, the Freising manuscripts were created in connection with the missionary activities of the Bishopric of Freising, which also owned property in Carinthia and Carniola.
The Slavic passages contain two formulas for confession (manuscripts I and III) and a confession homily (manuscript II). The first and the third manuscript show clear traits of oral tradition, which is presumably owed to the fact that the texts had to be repeated by the congregation. In contrast, the second Freising manuscript, which is most sophisticated from a literary perspective, is probably based on a written original. It is assumed that all three texts are based on – not included – translation source materials. So far, no agreement has been reached among researchers on the type of source material, but Old High German texts, or texts in other languages, for instance originating in the Patriarchate of Aquileia, would be thinkable. (Aquileia also played an important role in the conversion of the Western Slavic peoples.) Apart from this, there seem to be some connections to texts of the Cyrillo-Methodian mission.
A historical-critical edition of the "Freising Monuments" was compiled by the Slovenian Academy of Sciences.
Historical-critical edition of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences
Early printed books
The so-called Slovenian "Reformation prints" from Tübingen and Urach form part of the next oldest Slovenian written sources: Four Slovenian books were produced by the "Uracher Bibelanstalt" ("Urach Bible institution", near Tübingen) between 1561 and 1564. The head and initiator of the institution was the Slovenian reformer Primož Trubar (1508 – 1586). Unfortunately, several of these printed works fell victim to the destructions caused in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek during the Second World War.
Trubar, Primož: Articuli oli Deili, te prave stare vere Kerszhanske, is S. Pysma poredu postauleni inu Kratku sastopnu isloshenri. V Tibingi, 1562.
Printed version in the OPACplus/ BSB catalogue, classification mark: ESlg/4 H.ref. 831 m
[More to follow shortly ...]
Slovenian collection – Special holdings
Partisan prints of the Second World War
The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has an extensive collection of partisan prints, predominantly from the region of today's Slovenia. These are first-class sources on the South-East European and German history during the Second World War.
The collection includes around 300 brochures, posters, flyers, maps and newspapers from the years 1943 to 1945. Many of them were produced in underground print shops of the Slovenian partisans; some are of Serbian and Croatian origin.
In addition, there are a number of prints from liberated prisoner-of-war camps from this region, German and Italian collaboration and propaganda documents of the years 1941 to 1944, as well as writings by Slovenian post-war exiles in Austria (1946 to 1948).
The works were produced mostly in small print runs, part of them being very rare and at the same time noteworthy in regard of both printing technology and art. Such a contiguous and comprehensive collection is unique outside of the former territory of Yugoslavia.