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Hungarian Library

About the collection

The “Bibliotheca Nationis Hungaricae” (Hungarian National Library, more information and literature on the collection here) was donated by the Hungarian exile Georgius Michaelis Cassai (1640-1725). He had lived in Wittenberg since May 1675, where he became Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy in 1712. In 1725, he used his wealth to establish a foundation for Hungarians studying in Wittenberg. These students were also to have access to his approximately 2,000 books of scholarly literature from the 16th and 17th centuries, including more than 300 unique copies of Old Hungarian prints. A valuable addition to the collection came in 1755 with the purchase of the “Manuscripta Rotaridis” collection of the Hungarian manuscript collector and literary figure Michael Rotarides, who died in Wittenberg in 1747. The collection then grew further over time to include a considerable number of manuscripts donated by Hungarian students.

After 1817, most of the volumes were transferred to Halle and in 1900 they were taken over into the administration of the former Royal University Library. In 1921, part of the Hungarian Library, including 110 manuscripts, was given on loan for 99 years to the Finno-Ugric Library of the Humboldt University in Berlin by ministerial decree . After 85 years, these holdings were returned earlier to the University and State Library in Halle.

The Hungarian library offers extensive research material concerning:


  • The personal history of Cassai and his family
  • The church and family history of Hungary in the 17th and 18th century
  • The history of German scholars, preferably in regard to the history of the University of Halle-Wittenberg (family registers, college and sermon transcripts of the 17th/18th century).
Books and Digital Copies

The printed books of the Hungarian Library of the ULB are researchable via Ha:Lit and OPAC.


The manuscripts contained in the collection are registered in a printed catalogue: Miklós Pálfy, Katalog der Handschriftensammlung der Hallenser Ungarischen Bibliothek, Halle 1965.