The CSMC Reference Library currently houses more than 10000 books, periodicals and databases on manuscript research and related fields, including some rare and hard-to-find publications. The library's collection is constantly growing.


The library is equipped with a colour bookscanner, four desks and one dedicated PC workstation for selected catalogues and databases. The university's WLAN is available and laptop computers may be used on all desks.


The library is temporarily closed.

Monday and Tuesday 12pm-4pm
Wednesday 10am-2pm
Thursday and Friday 12pm-4pm
and on appointment

Universität Hamburg, SFB 950
Dr. Irina Wandrey
Warburgstraße 26, 20534 Hamburg
Tel.: +49-(0)40-42838-9420
irina.wandrey [at]

“J.P. Gumbert’s Special Collection” at CSMC
Thanks to the generous support of the Universityof Hamburg, the CSMC was able to purchase an important section of the late Professor Johan Peter Gumbert’s (1936-2016) private book collection in May 2017. From 1979 to 2001 he was Professor, and later Professor Emeritus, of Western Palaeography and Codicology at Leiden University. with a focus on Latin and Dutch manuscripts. As a frequent guest at the University of Hamburg, Professor Gumbert was associated with the CSMC from its very beginning as well as with the COMSt-Network (Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies), . The 1,700 works on codicology and palaeography annotated with various handwritten comments by J. P. Gumbert will soon be available at the CSMC library as the “J. P. Gumbert’s Special Collection”. They are currently catalogued and the annotations and addenda are registered accurately and comprehensively.

Manuscript Identification Service
Heirlooms, souvenirs or offers at antique fairs and auctions – manuscripts from all over the world are still appreciated/treasured as works of art or collector's items, yet often the origin, content or the material cannot be easily identified. Our researchers and conservators examine your manuscripts, provide information about the items and advise you on proper handling and storage.
Request a personal appointment at: manuscript-cultures [at]

manuscript catalogues

The CSMC library holds a number of rare manuscript catalogues from Asia, Africa nd Europe, many of them old or out-of-print. Due to copryright restrictions, the catalogues are only available in the library. The map below shows a selection of catalogues by showing the location of individual manuscript collections described in the catalogues. The catalogues on West African manuscripts were kindly provided by Mauro Nobili.