Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden


Today, the holdings of the former Electoral Library, which was later named Royal Saxon State Library, comprise around 1,000 Oriental manuscripts, including 196 Ottoman-Turkish, 184 Arabic and 68 Persian manuscripts. Particularly prominent items are a large-format Persian Fālnāme (oracle book), an Ottoman copy of the poem "Beng ü Bāde" by Fuzulî (Fuḍūlī), a manuscript with portraits of Sultans belonging to the "Buch der Eigenschaften der Osmanen" (Šemāʾili'l-ʿOṯmāniyye) by Loḳmān Çelebı̄, five volumes of Kemalpaşazade's History of the Ottomans illustrated with views of cities, fortresses, and harbours, and a part of the magnificent Qurʾān of Baghdad's Ilkanid ruler Ülğāitü that originally comprised 30 parts. Another highlight is the only completely preserved manuscript of the Turkish national epic “Kitāb-i Dede-i Qorqud.“

Collection history

Most of the Ottoman-Turkish, Arabic and Persian manuscripts in SLUB originate from the period of armed conflicts with the Ottomans in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. More than a hundred items came to what was then the Electoral Library from the estate of the Orientalist and electoral librarian Siegmund Gottlob Seebisch (1669-1753), almost sixty derive from the holdings of the Leipzig publisher Moritz Georg Weidmann (1686-1743) and ten formerly belonged to the Leipzig Arabist Johann Jacob Reiske (1716-1774). Later additions came, among others, from libraries in Zittau or Meissen.


Most Oriental manuscripts are described in: Heinrich Leberecht Fleischer, Catalogus codicum manuscriptorum orientalium Bibliothecae Regiae Dresdensis , Leipzig 1831 (interleaved copy with handwritten additions). The Tibetan, Hebrew, Chinese, Ethiopian, Singhalese and Batak manuscripts are described in Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland .