(Early) Modern era

Overview of the manuscript collections

The majority of items preserved among the manuscript collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – around 80 percent – was created in the modern era, thus in the time after around 1525. Among these works, there are autographs by famous theologians and humanists such as Martin Luther (e.g. Cgm 4101) and Philipp Melanchthon, most of which came to the library forming part of the Camerarius colletion (Collectio Camerariana, Clm 10351 – 10431). These and other collections of personal papers, which partly go back to the 15th and 16th century, which had either already formed part of the library's holdings at the time of foundation or were acquired a few decades after 1558 at least, form a focal point of the collection of modern-age manuscripts with regard to both quantity and quality. In addition, a number of magnificent codices were crafted specially for the court library, such as the penitential psalms by Orlando di Lasso (Mus.ms. A I and Mus.ms. A II), and the motets by Cipriano de Rore (Mus.ms. B).

Martin Luther: Ermanunge zum fride (Admonition to peace)  (Cgm 4101)
Philipp Melanchthon: Epistolae ad diversos  (Clm 10356(1 and Clm 10356(2)
Penitential Psalms by Orlando di Lasso  (Mus.ms. A I(1 and Mus.ms. A II(1)
Cipriano de Rore: Motets  (Mus.ms. B)

A further branch of tradition – like in the field of medieval manuscripts and the printed works of the early modern age – is constituted by the former holdings of monasteries of liturgical manuscripts (missals, graduals, antiphonaries, etc.) and scholarly texts, which came to the then court library in the course of the secularisation in 1802/ 03, bearing witness to the rich spiritual, cultural and scholarly life in the Bavarian monasteries at the end of the 18th century.

In total, the holdings of textual witnesses of the intellectual life in Bavaria particularly from this time are enormous, encompassing i.a. genealogies of noble houses (such as the "Sammlung Prey") and – particularly beginning with the turn of the 19th century – archival documents, such as the Montgelas statistics (Cgm 6844 – 6862 c) or the so-called "Physikatsberichte" (reports from the districts of officially appointed physicians; Cgm 6874(1 – 207).

Prey collection  (Cgm 2290)
Montgelas statistics: Regen district 1811/ 12  (Cgm 6844(12)
Medical-topographical and ethnographic description of the districts of officially appointed physicians. Volume 194: Weiler  (Cgm 6874(194)

In the field of modern-age manuscripts, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek still makes new acquisitions in order to complement its rich collections by interesting pieces on the history, culture and literature of Bavaria and by items in all languages already encompassed by its collections.

Music manuscripts

At the threshold from the Middle Ages to the modern era, the area of music likewise experienced a significant change from monophonic music (noted using neumes) to polyphonic music. At the same time, a shift took place away from the purely liturgical music, i.e. the music used in Church services, towards worldly music, which is also mirrored by the large number of modern-age music manuscripts (choir and choral books, scores, etc.).

Music collection

Personal papers

A particular collection emphasis within this time segment is constituted by the already mentioned collection of personal papers, having reached around 1,100 sets in the meantime, of which around 200 sets of documents go back to the period between the 15th and the 18th century. Johann Andreas Schmeller established an extra collection group for personal papers in 1829. The collection has doubled in size since the 1970s. It includes important personalities of public life, scholars and artists from Munich and Bavaria of the 19th and early 20th century. Around one eighth of the collection comes from the fields of sciences, mathematics, medicine and architecture. There are also around 150 sets of personal papers from writers. The collection of papers from people active in the field of music (Richard Wagner, for example) and musicologists, together with their sources, is similarly extensive. Sheet music materials possibly associated with these personal papers are kept in the Music Department.

Nobel Prize certificate of Paul Heyse  (Heyse-Archiv V.105)
Richard Wagner: Prose draft of the opera libretto "Die hohe Braut"  (Cgm 9366 a)
Richard Wagner: 127 letters and 1 card to Mathilde Maier  (Cgm 8839)

Also forming part of the collection of personal papers, there are around 36,000 autographs, i.e. single pieces of writing by persons known by name (letters, postcards, etc.). A subdivision has been created within this collection for the most important and valuable pieces, the collection group of cimelia autographs (Autogr.Cim.).

Letter by King Ludwig II to Councillor Lorenz von Düfflipp, 30 July 1870  (Autogr.Cim. Ludwig <Bayern, König, II.>.8)

Further information about the personal papers and autographs