The SLUB Dresden’s manuscript collection includes medieval codices and manuscripts from the time before the invention of printing as well as German and foreign manuscripts of the early modern and modern ages.
16th to the 19th century manuscripts are the main focus of the collection. So-called Saxonica are strongly represented, i.e., chronicles, regional history collectanea, literary manuscripts, biographical and genealogical records, literature of the Saxon court and nobility, as well as collections of letters.
In addition, the collection is enhanced by 305 written literary estates of artists, scientists, writers and musicians of the 18th, 19th, and 20th century who had some relation to Saxony.
Valuable Special Holdings
Outstanding Individual Pieces
- Mayan manuscript (Codex Dresdensis) – 13th century
One of only three known manuscripts in the world (Paris, Madrid, Dresden) by the Mayas, natives of Central America.
- Sachsenspiegel – 14th century
The most extensive and artistically most valuable of the four illuminated manuscripts of the medieval German book of law.
- Machsor mecholl haschana – 13th century
An illustrated Hebrew prayer book for services on the Sabbaths before great Jewish holidays.
- Codex Boernerianus – 9th century
A ninth century manuscript of the Pauline epistles in Latin and Greek, written at the St. Gallen monastery.
- Dresden Corvina - 15th century
The SLUB Dresden owns two manuscripts that were formerly part of the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus’ significant book collection (reigned 1458-1490). The Corvina are recognized as world cultural heritage.
- Kitab-i Dedem Korkut - 16th century
The only completely preserved textual memory of the national epic of the Turk speaking nomadic people of the Oghuz - ancestors of Turks, Azerbaijani and Turkmen.