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Manuscripts are ...

… books written by hand. Every book is unique!

Our manuscript collection contains …

… around 2,300 manuscripts from the

  • Middle Ages (around 1,500)
  • Modern era (around 800)

Our most famous ensemble is made up of 214 manuscripts from the former Cathedral Library, most from the early Middle Ages. These date as far back as the 5th century. The foundations for a manuscript collection were laid in the university’s early years. However, it was not until 1803 that the collection experienced significant growth through the secularisation of the monastery and abbey libraries in and around Würzburg.

How are our manuscripts indexed?

We are gradually adding all our manuscripts to the Würzburg Virtual Library. Unfortunately, not all manuscripts can be found here as yet.

The medieval manuscripts in the Würzburg University Library are listed in detailed, book-form catalogues.

The modern manuscripts are currently listed only in card catalogues with varying levels of detail. You can view these catalogues in the special collections reading room.

We have compiled a list of all our manuscripts arranged by shelf mark with links to their descriptions.

How can I see the manuscripts?

You will need to submit a written application (PDF, 363 KB), with an academic reference and present your ID or passport.

Parchment manuscripts are extremely sensitive to climatic conditions; should the conditions in the reading room prove unsuitable, certain items may be subject to restrictions or prohibited from use. Please get in touch before your visit.