Digital collections

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

The holdings of comprehensively digitized manuscripts of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek are categorised according to subject areas and are searchable online. So far, holdings from the following manuscript funds have been digitized:

The available documents are continuously complemented.

Staatliche Bibliothek (Schlossbibliothek) Ansbach

Latin manuscripts (Ms. lat.)

Available comprehensive digital copies

A part of the 165 late medieval Latin manuscripts from the 14th and 15th century held by the Staatliche Bibliothek (State Library) Ansbach today were acquired from the monastery libraries of Riedfeld, Heidenheim and Würzburg, which were closed during the first half of the 16th century. These manuscripts were mostly written in the proximity of the monasteries and contain, in addition to ascetic-catechistic material, a small amount of literature specific of the Franciscan and Benedictine orders. They furthermore represent a source for a number of aspects of the Ius canonicum. Even if the number of these codices is small, they still offer an "insight in the book collections of the Franconian clergy at the end of the Middle Ages" (review of the manuscript catalogue by A. Schmid. in: ZBLG 65 (2002), p. 699).

To a greater extent, this is true for the book holdings of the members of the seminary St. Gumbert in Ansbach, which is represented by around 59 manuscripts in this collection. The majority of texts originate in the academic, (late) scholastic teaching of theology, which was "the first to constitute theology as an academic discipline with the categories of Aristotelian reason, the ratiocinatio" (catalogue of Latin manuscripts I, introduction p. XVI). This is illustrated by a text witnessing the "quaestiones disputatae de potentia“ of Thomas of Aquin in Ms. lat. 135, whose survival had so far been unknown to research, and the so far only surviving copy of a commentary on Aristotle's concept of physics by the Erfurt Magister Myngodus in Ms. lat. 106. It is not surprising that in addition thereto, the manuscripts predominantly contain materials from the area of pastoral care, in the form of sermons, texts for the preparation of sermons and authoritative collections of model sermons.

In omni summa this collection so far mostly ignored by research "is of importance for a wide range of questions of our national history and the history of science". (Review of the manuscript catalogue by A. Schmid. In: ZBLG 59 (1996), p. 262). A number of specimens have been digitized to make them accessible to a wider range of interested researchers.

Studienbibliothek Dillingen

Medieval manuscript fragments

Available comprehensive digital copies

The medieval manuscript fragments of the Studienbibliothek Dillingen were digitized comprehensively by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and have now been made available to researchers and the interested public on the Internet. The collection comprises 28 vellum fragments from the 8th to the 16th century. They were scientifically catalogued and indexed in the Manuscript Center of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek together with the overall holdings of medieval manuscripts of the Studienbibliothek. Wherever necessary, the manuscripts were also restored or conserved in the Institute of Conservation and Restoration.

The small collection comprises remarkable material: 13 fragments date from the 8th and 9th century, among them fragments from the works of St. Augustine, from the chronicle of Fredegard, from medical texts and from the Old Alemannic translation of the psalms. In addition to the fragments from "Willehalm" by Wolfram von Eschenbach and "Tristan" by Gottfried von Strassburg, both originating in the 13th/14th century, also the fragment containing a number of verses from the "Wartburgkrieg" (minstrels' contest at castle Wartburg) which are written on a sheet belonging to the famous "Jenaer Liederhandschrift" (Jena song manuscript) is of interest to German philologists.

The occasion for digitizing the collection arose when the medieval manuscripts and manuscript fragments of the Studienbibliothek Dillingen could be scientifically catalogued and indexed at the Manuscript Center of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, supported by the German Research Foundation. This cataloguing work, in the course of which amongst others a so far unknown fragment from a medical manuscript going back to the end of the 8th century was discovered, resulted in a manuscript catalogue published in print at the end of the year 2006.