Southeast Asian manuscripts from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek collection

The Southeast Asian collection at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek comprises about 4,100 manuscripts in the languages Batak, Burmese, Javanese and Balinese, Cambodian, Lampung, Laotian, Malay, Thai and Vietnamese as well as those of the Philippines.

In purely quantitative terms, the Indonesian languages (Javanese and Balinese) make up the largest group. The writing materials are unusually diverse: paper, palm leaf, dluwang (a writing material used in Java and Madura), bamboo, wood, cloth, ivory, bone, stone, gold, silver and other metals.

Javanese manuscripts

The fund of Javanese manuscripts (Cod.jav.), usually originating from North Bali and mostly with palm leaf as writing material, includes texts of Hinduism, medicine, to a lesser extent also Islamic or Buddhist content, as well as magical and literary texts. The top pieces include the Cod.jav. 2592, a manuscript from around 1800 with numerous decorative pages framing the actual text.

Thai manuscripts

The Thai manuscripts (Cod.siam), often in folding book form, mainly comprise Buddhist writings, including Kammavācās and Jataka cycles (Brah-Malai manuscripts), medicine, astrology, cat typologies and literary texts. Cod.siam. 98 dates from the second half of the 19th century and contains poems and illustrations about the loss of a beloved woman.

>> This collection is part of the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library).

To the collections by signature group of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek