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The collection of deeds owned by the ULB Saxony-Anhalt is based on three funds: the documents from the libraries of Johann August von Ponickau (1718-1802) and the Thuringian-Saxon Historical Society as well as the documents from the collection of the historian Carlo Morbio (1811-1881).

About the collection

The 250 documents being part of the Ponickau Library date from 1329 to 1827, but predominantly date back to the late Middle Ages and early modern times. About half of them are made out of parchment, sometimes even the seals are preserved. Largely, these are documents from the Central German region addressing a wide variety of legal matters ranging from letters of feud to certificates of indebtedness.


Of the 280 items in the Thuringian-Saxon Historical Society, 80 % are parchment documents, of which more than a third date back to the Middle Ages. This fund contains important written records with regard to the monasteries of St. Nicolai in Halberstadt and St. Georg in Kelbra. In addition to original documents, this sub-collection also contains facsimiles and later copies, such as handwritten copies by Johann Christoph von Dreyhaupt (1699-1768).

The largest and supra-regionally most important document fund stems from Carlo Morbio’s document collection, comprising about 3700 handwritten and 418 printed pieces. These are documents ranging in time from the tenth to the 19th century and issued addressing upper Italian recipients. In addition to ruler’s and pope’s deeds, this fund contains numerous other certificates of ecclesiastical and secular figures as well as over 2000 notarial deeds, thus making it the largest collection of documents on the history of Northern Italy, north of the Alps. The collection itself was acquired at an auction in 1889 on behalf of the Prussian Ministry of Education and assigned to the university library in Halle in 1890. The collection was fully digitized as part of a project completed in 2024.


Documents of the Thuringian-Saxon Historical Society and Ponickau Library

The documents of the Thuringian-Saxon Historical Society and the Ponickau Library are registered in this handwritten catalogue (from sheet 179 onwards).

Morbio Documents

The documents of the Morbio Collection are recorded in excerpts in various handwritten volumes of registers (by Carlo Morbio, Sunti) as well as slip registers (enquiries to:; some of the Morbio documents are already researchable digitally via Ha:Lit / OPAC.