Treasures in the Provinzialibliothek Amberg

The historical holdings of the Provinzialbibliothek Amberg (Amberg Provincial Library) include 300 incunabula and 200 manuscripts. From 1803 onwards, the works came from the dissolved monasteries in the Upper Palatinate to the newly founded library. The books of the Benedictine monasteries Ensdorf, Michelfeld, Reichenbach, the Premonstratensian Abbey Speinshart, the Jesuit College Amberg as well as the Cistercian monasteries Walderbach and Waldsassen were brought together here. This selection presents the medieval and modern manuscripts that deal with the region's territorial, denominational and intellectual history. These unique manuscripts are of great importance especially in an area such as the Upper Palatinate, which was so moved turbulently between reformation and revolution in terms of denomination.

The manuscripts and prints reflect the monasteries' religious and scientific interest. The devotional book "Spiegel der menschlichen Erlösung" (Mirror of Human Redemption) from the 15th century (2 Ms. 46) embellished with coloured pen drawings is striking.

One of the first illustrated anatomy books with perplexing pictures of the human body by the Frenchman Charles Estienne (Med. 55) originates from Waldsassen monastery, a "Masterpiece of Celestial Cartography" by Andreas Cellarius (Geogr. 510), and a collective atlas by Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724) come from Nuremberg from 1750 (Geogr. 514).

The pair of globes by Flemish Gerhard Mercator also belong to the fields of astronomy and geography. In 1541 the earth globe was the largest printed globe of its time, the corresponding celestial globe (1551) already used the heliocentric world view (3D models).

Only one other copy of the Passion Play (1560) by the Nuremberg Meistersinger Hans Sachs, dedicated to the city council of Amberg, has survived worldwide. The chronicle of Amberg from 1564, written by the town mayor (Hist. Bav. 60 e) caused a political scandal. Schedel's World History from 1493 (Inc.214) impresses with its numerous woodcuts. The large-format plate volume with coloured coppercuts by highly talented artists is considered "the most beautiful German bird book" (Hist. nat. 261).

>> This collection is part of the holdings of the Provinzialbibliothek Amberg (Provincial Library Amberg).