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.

Particularly valuable special collections include around 700 medieval occidental manuscripts, around 1,000 oriental manuscripts and more than 400 Libri amicorum (friendship books).

 Digitized manuscripts

Outstanding Individual Pieces

  • Maya manuscript Codex Dresdensis – 14th/15th century
    One of only fourt 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 Corvinas - 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.
  • Chronicle of Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg - 11th century.
    This work, which is particularly important for the history of Central Germany, reports on events between 908 and 1018. The Dresden manuscript, which was severely damaged in 1945, was partly written by Thietmar himself between 1012 and 1018.
    Digital copy of the facsimile from 1905
  • Martin Luther's commentary on the Psalms - 16th ccentury
    The manuscript of Martin Luther's first lecture as professor of theology in Wittenberg, written in 1513-1515, is one of the most comprehensive autographs by Luther. It has been a UNESCO World Documentary Heritage Site since October 2015.
  • Dresden Dürer Manuscript - 16th century.
    The volume contains Albrecht Dürer's autograph fair copy of the first book of his "Four Books of Human Proportion", dated 1523, and a bundle of around 445 sketches, some of which have faded severely to completely due to the effects of water in 1945.
    Digital copy of the facsimile of the sketchbook published in 1905