The Manuscript Centre is a service institution and centre of excellence at Leipzig University Library. It helps other institutions to catalogue and digitize their own collections of manuscripts. Leipzig Manuscript Centre is part of a nationwide research infrastructure comprising six Manuscript Centres set up on the initiative of the DFG German Research Foundation. Each of them is responsible for specific regions of Germany.The Manuscript Centre in Leipzig is primarily responsible for the regions of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. In addition, it specializes in German-language manuscripts as well as small or even tiny collections of medieval manuscripts, many of which are almost unknown.
The Manuscript Centre at Leipzig University Library offers the following services:
- Inspection and evaluation of collections of manuscripts
- Advising on options for externally funded cataloguing and digitization projects
- Project planning and preparing applications
- Project implementation including quality assurance
- Publication of indexing information and often also image data via the central manuscript database Manuscripta Mediaevalia
Germany’s six Manuscript Centres make up a unique research infrastructure for the scientific treatment of the country’s historical manuscripts, especially from the medieval and early modern periods.
The Manuscript Centres are service facilities at large libraries with historical collections. One of their main responsibilities is to prepare and carry out cataloguing projects for associated institutions, a task which increasingly involves the digitization of manuscripts. The Manuscript Centres can provide a team of qualified staff members as well as extensive in-house services such as access to relevant literature and databases, project support, and quality management. Most of the projects carried out at the Manuscript Centres are funded by the DFG.
The Manuscript Centres are located at the following libraries: Berlin State Library, Frankfurt University Library, Leipzig University Library, the Bavarian State Library in Munich, the State Library of Württemberg in Stuttgart, and the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel.