Manuscripts from Bavarian libraries and archives in the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme

In 1992, UNESCO established the "Memory of the World" programme to ensure free access to important documents for the people of our world and to preserve the documentary heritage. Valuable book collections, manuscripts, scores, unique specimens, visual, audio and film documents "which represent the collective memory of the people in the various countries of our world" will be listed.

Germany is represented with 24 entries in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. They document the diversity of German contributions to cultural history in the variety of the tradition's content, forms and places.

The importance of the Bavarian cultural heritage has been made visible by the inclusion of numerous objects in the "Memory of the World" programme. Included in the register are:

  • the richly illuminated manuscripts of the monastery of Reichenau on Lake Constance from the 10th/11th century, which are now in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library) in Munich and the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg (Bamberg State Library) (listed in 2003),
  • eight magnificent codices from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich, which originate from the Renaissance Library of the Hungarian King Mathias Corvinus (Bibliotheca Corviniana) (2005),
  • manuscript A of the Nibelungenlied, the most famous heroic epic of Middle High German literature, in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich (2009),
  • the Lorsch Pharmacopoeia from the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg as the oldest medical book of the Occidental Middle Ages (2013),
  • copies of the Golden Bull, the most important constitutional document of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation until its end in 1806, in the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv (Bavarian Main State Archive) in Munich and the Staatsarchiv Nürnberg (Nuremberg State Archive) (2013).

>> This collection is part of the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg (State Library Bamberg), the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv (Bavarian Main State Archive) and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library).