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Collection of Ponickau

Bibliotheca Ponickaviana

The library of the secret war councillor Johann August von Ponickau (1718-1802) is one of the historical core collections of the Wittenberg University Library.


Already during his lifetime, Ponickau bequeathed his private library to the University of Wittenberg. His library consisted primarily of printed works on the cultural and regional history of Central Germany as well as original sources such as charters, seals and manuscripts.


After the unification of the Universities of Wittenberg and Halle, the printed works stayed together and were placed separately, all in accordance with the founder’s testamentary provisions.

About the collection

While the “Bibliotheca Saxonica” contains literature on regional matters, culture and history of Central Germany, the “Bibliotheca Miscellanea” encompasses all other fields of knowledge of the scholarly cosmos of the 18th century and thus serving as a perfect representation of a small, self-contained universal library inspired by the spirit of the Enlightenment. While the “Bibliotheca Saxonica” was systematically expanded until 1965 by acquiring publications on the history, geography and culture of central Germany, the “Bibliotheca Miscellanea” was only punctually supplemented in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries.


The collection of small manuscripts in almost all its entirety also has its origins with Ponickau himself. It is deemed to be of great importance for research, as it contains numerous unique items and rarities from the 16th to 18th centuries, especially in the area of occasional writings such as official publications, speeches, sermons, dissertations, colporteur literature, tracts, ordinances and the so-called “grey literature”. The graphics collection of the ULB also emerged from the Ponickau Collection.

Books and Digitised Material

Titles of printed books and all digitised materials, belonging tot this specific collection, are researchable in Ha:Lit and OPAC.


There exists a handwritten catalogue indexing the manuscripts, which has already been digitised.


The deeds are recorded in the handwritten classed catalogue (sheets 179-197).

Printed Graphics

The prints of the collection are not yet researchable online, so. if interested, please contact