Stiftsbibliothek Abtei St. Bonifaz

Holdings

The collection comprises 137 manuscripts and prints; 104 of them belong to Muslim and 33 to Christian Oriental literature. While most manuscripts are in Arabic, the holdings also include works in (Ottoman) Turkish, Persian, Ethiopian and Syriac (in part Garšūni). About a dozen of the objects acquired in the 19th century are prints, mostly lithographs.

Collection history

A significant portion of the collection (classmarks 1-208) is closely associated with the activities of the Franciscan Arsenius Rehm (1738−1808). During his service as chaplain to the French legation in Cairo from 1769 to 1776, he acquired over a hundred Oriental manuscripts, presumably on behalf of his Thuringian Province. After Rehm's return, these manuscripts were added to the collection of his home monastery Frauenberg in Fulda. Except for a few transfers to the Landesbibliothek Fulda, the manuscripts remained at the monastery until 1852, when the theologian and Orientalist Daniel Bonifaz von Haneberg (1816−1876), financially supported by the Bavarian king, acquired them for his Benedictine abbey Sankt Bonifaz in Munich. Until von Haneberg left Munich in 1872, he had added about 30 more manuscripts and prints to the collection, some of which were purchased or received as gifts on two journeys to the Orient.

During the Second World War, the Oriental manuscripts were deposited at Andechs monastery, together with other parts of the Sankt Bonifaz library’s holdings.

Catalogues

There is no printed catalogue available. In October 1847, the Orientalist Johann G. Gildemeister compiled a short, handwritten catalogue of 107 entries, which von Haneberg continued up to number 133, although its supplements often do not provide more than basic bibliographical information.

Currently, the research centre Christlicher Orient at Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt is preparing a detailed catalogue of Christian Oriental manuscripts.