I would like to draw your attention tho the recently-completed project of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich to catalogue and digitize its holdings of early modern Codices iconographici (pictorial manuscripts with little or no explanatory text):
or directly at:
Within the project, 117 manuscripts dating from the 15th to mid-17th centuries were catalogued and made available in digital reproduction online. Further information on the collection, which currently comprises c. 550 items, is provided from the inventory drawn up by Johann Andreas Schmeller in the early 19th century, which was converted into full electronic text.
The manuscripts were described by Dr. Marianne Reuter, who characterizes the collection as follows:
"The items contained in this is pictorial "Realienkunde" date from the 15th to 20th century with particular focus on the 16th to 19th centuries. The places of origin are rarely known. With regard to the provenances, the ducal and princely collections of the Munich and Mannheim courts form the basis with 30 and 60 manuscripts respectively. Some of the oldest items were already part of the Munich court library at its foundation by Duke Albrecht Vth of Bavaria in 1558. This includes the so-called "Kleinodienbuch" (depictions of jewellery owned by the dukes, Cod.icon. 429), which was recently also made available in facsimile:
Das Kleinodienbuch der Herzogin Anna von Bayern. Handschrift Cod.icon. 429 der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München. Faksimile und Kommentar in russischer und deutscher Sprache mit Beiträgen von Kurt Löcher, Marianne Reuter, Irmhild Schäfer, Lorenz Seelig und Stefanie Walker. Kindler Verlag Berlin 2008.
18 volumes come from the library of Johann Jakob Fugger at Augsburg, which was acquired by Duke Albrecht Vth in 1571 and also comprised the library of the Nuremberg humanist Hartmann Schedel (the author of the 'Nuremberg chronicle'). Among the items from Mannheim are 4 manuscripts from the electoral library at Düsseldorf and 7 from the collection of the Florentine humanist Petrus Victorius (died 1585) and his descendants, which Elector Karl Theodor bought in 1779 in Rome and which were transferred to Munich with the Mannheim court library partly in 1783 and finally in 1803.
A further c. 20 items have been identified as formerly owned by monasteries and another 6 from the city library of Regensburg, having been transferred to Munich after the dissolution of monasteries in the early 19th century. Subsequently, the collection was also increased by purchases like the Parisian collection of the orientalist Quatremère and the Augsburg collection of the banker Paul Joseph von Cobres. Further noteworthy owners include Andreas Felix Oefele, Anton Johann Lipowsky, Maximilian Joseph Graf Montgelas, the travellers to South America Johann Baptist Spix and Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, the architects Haller von Hallerstein and Friedrich von Gärtner. For some 19th-century items, additional materials are kept in the BSB's collection of modern papers (e.g. Klenziana, Schlagintweitiana, Zieblandiana)."
Some prominent examples of this unusual collection, e.g. the globes by Philipp Apian, can at the moment be seen at the exhiibition to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the BSB and have been described in the exhibition catalogue:
Dr. Bettina Wagner
Abteilung fuer Handschriften und Alte Drucke
email: [log in to unmask]
Tel. +89 / 28638-2982
Fax. +89 / 28638-12982 oder 2266
postbox: D-80328 Muenchen
Inkunabelkatalog der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek (BSB-Ink) online:
IFLA Rare Books and Manuscripts Section:
Programm zum 450jährigen Jubiläum der BSB: