The manuscript collection of the SLUB comprises manuscripts from the Middle Ages to the present in about 15,000 volumes, rolls, folders and capsules.
All manuscripts are listed in catalogues that are accessible online.
The focus is on manuscripts from the 16th to 19th centuries. Saxonica are strongly represented in the form of chronicles, collections on regional history, draft manuscripts, biographical and genealogical records, literature of the Saxon court and nobility as well as collections of letters.
The manuscript collection includes around 500 written estates of artists, scientists, writers and musicians from the 16th to 20th centuries with reference to Saxony and Dresden.
Included in this, acquired individually or found in printed publications, are about 370,000 autographs.
Outstanding Individual Pieces
- Maya manuscript (Codex Dresdensis) – 14th/15th 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.