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Munich Corvinus Collection - Manuscripts of the UNESCO Memory of the World Register

The Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus had established one of the most important Renaissance libraries in his palace in Buda. However, after his death (1490), and in particular due to the invasions by the Turks, the collection was scattered. The great importance of this collection is not least based on the fact that Matthias Corvinus, who had enjoyed a humanistic upbringing, built up a systematic collection of manuscripts from a variety of subject fields, and even commissioned a number of manuscripts himself. Predominantly in Italy he had Latin texts written on parchment in an elaborate humanistic book script and had the works illuminated exquisitely, while he purchased valuable Greek manuscripts from Byzantium – also in Italy. All books were bound in a splendid cover and bore the coat of arms of the Hungarian king, making it possible today to reconstruct large parts of his library. Thus 232 of these Corvinus manuscripts are today preserved in almost 50 libraries all over the world. The Bavarian State Library holds eight of these valuable so-called 'Corvinen', which were entered in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in the year 2005 (representing the second nomination of holdings of the BSB by the UNESCO after the Reichenau manuscripts). Of these eight Munich Corvinus manuscripts six were written in Latin (Clm 69, 175, 294, 310, 341 and 627) and two in Greek (Cod.graec. 157 and 449).