Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel


The Oriental manuscripts at Herzog August Bibliothek do not form a cohesive group, but are scattered within the historically evolved collections,as the different classmark groups (Augusteer, Gudische, Blankenburger, Extravagantes and Novissimi) indicate. A systematic acquisition policy is not apparent; some items were probably added to the collection as gifts. The index of Oriental manuscripts compiled by Friedrich Adolf Ebert in 1831 comprises 142 objects, including Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Chinese, Persian and Syrian manuscripts.

Collection history

The Oriental manuscripts can be traced back to the collection of the library’s founder, Duke Julius, which contained Hebrew manuscripts such as the Thora scroll of Magdeburg. Most other additions to the Oriental holdings also originate from the collections of the Guelph dynasty residing in Wolfenbüttel and Blankenburg. The collections of the dukes August (Codices Augustei) and Ludwig Rudolf (Codices Blankenburgenses) in particular comprise a notable number of Oriental manuscripts. In addition, the collection of Marquard Gude (1635-1689), purchased by the former librarian Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in 1710, also contains several Arabic manuscripts.