Manuscripts and Scholarly Collections


Göttingen State and University Library has a collection of 440 occidental medieval manuscripts and ca. 6,700 more recent manuscripts from the 18th through the 20th centuries and a small collection of musical manuscripts (listed in the international online catalogue of musical sources RISM). In addition there are approximately 2,900 oriental manuscripts. Among them there are about 1,100 Islamic manuscripts (for example the Barudi Collection (PDF 6 MB) and more than 1,000 manuscripts in South-Asian languages.

Of particular importance are the more than 400 scholarly collections (PDF 80 KB), among which those by Göttingen professors are predominant. Essentially all academic fields are represented here, while collections in modern mathematics and the natural sciences constitute a core area.

The Reading Room for Manuscripts and Rare Books has a reference collection of about 6,000 volumes which are on open shelves for readers. These volumes are marked in the Göttingen University Catalogue and in GöDiscovery with the location HSD-LS. Among the holdings in the reading room are the most important manuscript catalogues of German and international libraries as well as literature on paleography and book illustration.

Readers’ services

The manuscripts and scholarly collections of Göttingen State and University Library can be accessed in the Reading Room of the Department Special Collections and Conservation in the Historical Building of the library (Papendiek 14; corner of Prinzenstraße / Papendiek) only (please be aware of our current opening hours.

Unless there are legal objections or concerns about the stability of the originals, we will make these materials available to all interested parties. We do, however, ask our external patrons to send us an advance notification of their visit by email. The requested documents will only be made available to visitors after the presentation of a valid national ID card or passport.

You are welcome to order photocopies or scans of the material provided its condition allows a reproduction. Please take note of our price list for copy and scan orders.

Volumes in the reference collection of the Reading Room for Manuscripts and Rare Books are not available for external loan; please consult them personally in the reading room. You are able to identify the items in the Göttingen University Catalogue and in GöDiscovery by the location "HSD-LS".