Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg


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Today's Halle manuscript collection is neither the result of targeted bourgeois or aristocratic collecting activity, nor of the extensive inclusion of medieval university literature or monastic collections. Rather, the acquisition of manuscripts in Halle took place for a long time primarily under the aspect of supplying faculties with medieval and state law-oriented sources for teaching and research purposes. Accordingly, the core of the Halle collection emerged from the necessities of everyday university operations. That is why richly illuminated medieval codices such as books of hours and illustrated literary manuscripts are almost completely missing. Instead, the special value of the Halle collection lies in its wealth of late medieval usage and the fund of high quality text transmission.

The approximately 400 medieval occidental manuscripts of the University and State Library of Saxony-Anhalt came from a wide variety of collections. In addition to old ULB holdings, these are secularization items from the 19th century, holdings of the Johann August von Ponickau library transferred to the ULB, holdings of the Thuringian-Saxon History Association and the Quedlinburg Abbey and High School Library as well as purchases from the 19th and 20th centuries.

While catalogues for the Latin and Quedlinburg segment of German handwritings have been in existence for a long time, the majority of German-language manuscripts have only been recorded in the past few years by a DFG indexing and cataloguing project.

The music manuscripts of the 'Musikbücherei Arno Werner' are recorded in a handwritten card catalogue.