Manuscript reading room

Bust of Fürstenberg in the manuscript reading room

In the manuscript reading room on the first floor ready requests are issued for use in the (manuscript) reading room. There is also a small reference library and individual workstations for the use of valuable materials under supervision.

Opening hours
Mon 12 noon – 5 p.m.
TueFri 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tel.: +49 (0)251 83-24072, -24039
Fax: +49 (0)251 83-28398

Requests for the reading room

In the manuscript reading room, we issue non-borrowable media that have been requested via KatalogPlus or interlibrary loan and can only be used and reproduced in the ULB Central Library. Such orders can be picked up here without an appointment during the opening hours of the manuscript reading room upon presentation of your library card and can be used in the reading rooms. The media must be returned to the counter in the manuscript reading room at least 15 minutes before it closes.

Requests for the manuscript reading room

In the manuscript reading room you can access holdings that are particularly valuable and worthy of protection under supervision, e.g. manuscripts, personal papers, autographs, publications before 1830, documents of particular value between the 18th to the 21st century, historical maps and musical manuscripts.
In order to use such holdings that you have requested via KatalogPlus or interlibrary loan, an appointment must be made in advance by email (
For ULB holdings that cannot be requested via KatalogPlus, please use our request form, in which you also state your desired visit date, if possible several days in advance.
You must present a library card, or a valid identity card or passport to access your requests.

Collection of the manuscript reading room

The manuscript reading room contains a reference library of approximately 1400 items. It comprises the most important catalogues for manuscripts and incunables of German and foreign libraries, literature about paleography, book illuminations, the history of letterpress printing and book covers as well as secondary literature. All reference media are listed in KatalogPlus with the annexe "Handschr.-LS". The collection can be researched in the online classification system.


Our library staff in the Historical Collections will be happy to provide you with further information. Their emphasis is on manuscripts, early prints, the music and map collection, the historical libraries, the Prussica Collection Trunz and the archive "Masters of the Art of Binding".


If you would like the library to reproduce an item, please use our request form:
Reproduction request form (bill to a private person)
Reproduction request form (bill to a Münster University department)
Any requests by email, mail or fax should contain your address, information on the item and the desired form of reproduction.

The prices for reproduction can be found in our price list.

Our reproduction service is limited to media which will not be worn or damaged by the process and dependent on technical and personnel capacities of the library.

If you would like to make digital copies yourself with your own smartphone, a Transkribus ScanTent is available for this purpose.


Currently, the library’s historical collection is referenced in several different catalogues:

  • HANS – catalogue of manuscripts, autographs, personal papers, and special collections of the library
  • Kalliope – central research access for personal papers and autographs in Germany
  • KatalogPlus – the main catalogue contains the Rare Book collection and the manuscript reading room’s reference collection
  • Indexing status of our personal papers and collections

The medieval manuscripts are indexed in a printed catalogue (as of 1995):
Die mittelalterlichen Handschriften der Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Münster / by Eef Overgaauw. Wiesbaden. 1999.
Location: Manuscript reading room H ALL 0.4 MUS 10