Secundary forms

Digitisation of manuscripts and catalogues

More and more manuscripts are digitised and can be found on the internet to allow for an easy and fast access to important materials. Especially illuminated manuscripts shall be presented this way to allow research and prevent the originals from damage through intensive usage.

Acccess to the fully digitised and to some extent scholarly catalogued manuscripts is possible via the Manuscript database. An overview over digitised catalogues is available here.


There is no precise and exhaustive definition of the term "facsimile". The literal meaning of "fac simile" is to "make (it) similar" and thus the term can be used for different kinds of reproductions. In most cases this term is used for replicas of manuscripts and rare respectively valuable prints. Facsimile editions shall make the manuscripts and prints available to a broader community of researchers, interested non-professionals and collectors on one hand and prevent the delicate originals from damages on the other hand. If large numbers of facsimilia are available in one place more than one items can be consulted at a time.

Usually three different kinds of problems have to be overcome during the production of a facsimile: The colours shall match the original completely, the gold shall not be to shining, and the support has to equal the parchment in thickness and shading. The advances of printing techniques achieve better and better results today. For all facsimile editions a seperate commentary is essential to sum up the research on the original and stimulate new research.

The Herzog August Bibliothek owns a large collection of manuscript facsimilia (more than 900 volumes); especially the more recent and important editions are available. In order to contiuously complete the collection sponsors are needed!

Contact: Dr. Christian Heitzmann, Tel. +49-(0)5331 - 808 129

Inventory: A list of facsimilia on a separate page (available in German only) and via OPAC.


The library owns a large collection of microfilms and microfiches for her own collections.

Kulturhistorische Sammlung Adam, Goslar

Besides those the HAB owns microfilms of 57 medieval manuscripts of the former Kulturhistorische Sammlung Adam at Goslar, which has been auctioned in 1979 (some originals are today in the SBPK Berlin and the BSB Munich). Furthermore, the collection contained armenian and syriac manuscripts, 330 autographs and 200 charters.

Inventory: Kulturhistorische Sammlung der Familie Adam. Bücher, Handschriften, Urkunden. 5.-20. Jh., Goslar 1963 (maschinenschr.)