The codex collection of the library consists of 185 codices, of which there are 137 Latin, 7 Arabic, 2 Turkish, 2 Ethiopian, 2 Persian, 13 Slavic, 6 German, 4 Greek, 4 Italian and 8 Hungarian codices. 14 of the codices are considered to be Corvinas (books from the famous 15th century library of King Mathias), and were donated to the library by Sultan II. Abdülhamid in 1877.

The collection of codices can be found in the OPAC of the library, and the digitized copies of the documents are accessible to everybody in the repository of the ELTE (EDIT).

Former catalogues of the codex collection:

  • Szilágyi Sándor: Catalogus codicum bibliothecae Universitatis R. Scientiarum Budapestinensis. Budapest, Egyetemi Ny., 1881.
  • Mezey László: Codices Latini medii aevi Bibliothecae Universitatis Budapestinensis. Budapest, Akad., 1961.
  • Tóth Péter: Catalogus codicum latinorum medii aevi Bibliotheca Universitatis Budapestinensis. Bp. 2008.
  • Ralph M. Cleminson: The Cyrillic Manuscript Codices of Budapest University Library = Polata Knigopisnaia: Volume 27-28 (December 1995), 5-12.
  • Kubinyi Mária: Libri manuscripti Graeci in bibliothecis Budapestinensibus asservati. Budapest, Akad., 1956.
  • Vizkelety András: Beschreibendes Verzeichnis der altdeutschen Handschriften in ungarischen Bibliotheken. Bd. 2.: Budapest, Debrecen, Eger, Esztergom, Győr, Kalocsa, Pannonhalma, Pápa, Pécs, Szombathely. Budapest, Akad., 1973.

A detailed description of the Corvinas can be found on the Bibliotheca Corvina Virtualis page, developed by the National Széchényi Library.

The Hungarian codices of the University Library being early records of the Hungarian language are described in detail on the page Magyar Nyelvemlékek developed by the National Széchényi Library.

Fragments of Codices

There are numerous fragments of codices in the holding of the University Library, that turned up in the process of restorations works from the bindings of old books. The cataloguing of the fragments of codices kept in Hungarian libraries began with the collection of the University Library in 1972 under the guidance of László Mezey, and in 1983 the printed form of the catalogue appeared:

Fragmenta Latina codicum in Bibliotheca Universitatis Budapestinenis. Ed. by László Mezey. Budapest, 1983.

The fragments that came to light since then are listed and described in Péter Tóth’s following two papers:

There are several among these fragments that contain musical scores. The Digital Music Fragmentology research group collects and classifies the notated medieval and early modern manuscript fragments preserved in libraries and archival collections in Hungary and abroad from the territory of the historical Kingdom of Hungary, as well as fragments of foreign origin, survived in today Hungary, and they also publish them on the web-site Fragmenta Manuscriptorum Musicalium Hungariae Mediaevalis (Notated Manuscript Fragments from Medieval Hungary). The material preserved in the University Library can be found on the following page:

Manuscripts in volumes classified thematically

The collection of manuscripts stored in volumes and classified thematically is the basic early modern manuscript collection of the library. The documents were listed into 10 thematic sections: A – Theology, AB – Church History, B – Jurisprudence, C – Political Science, D – Medicine, E – Mathematics and Natural Science, F – Philosophy, G – History, H – Philology and Literary Science, J – Catalogues. The time limits of the collection are the first part of the 16th century and the present, but a significant part of the collection got to the library due to the abolitions of the religious orders in the 18th century.

Only a small part of the collection is entered in the OPAC. The descriptions of the documents can be found in the following printed catalogues:

Diplomata, charters

The charter collection of the University Library has two sub-collections: Diplomata autographa (DiplAut) and the Litterae et Epistolae Originales (LEO), which consist of medieval and early modern documents.

The description of the charters engrossed before 1526 can be found in the printed catalogue: Az Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem Egyetemi Könyvtárában és Egyetemi Levéltárában őrzött 1526 előtti oklevelek és iratok jegyzéke (by Sölch Miklós, Egyetemi Levéltár – Egyetemi Könyvtár, 2005). This most ancient part of the collection is entered in the OPAC, too.

Further printed and manuscript catalogues of the collection:

Historical Source Collection of the Jesuit Scholars

The Historical Source Collection of Gábor Hevenesi, István Kaprinai and György Pray is one of the most precious parts of the manuscript collection of the library. These Jesuit scholars endeavoured to collect all the historical sources available regarding the Hungarian history and church history accumulating thus a huge collection of charters, letters and historical works.

The three collection is more than 15 running meters. Most of the documents being written in Latin are invaluable historical sources for both the researchers of the Hungarian past and of the European middle and early modern ages.

The collection is completely entered in the OPAC, and being digitized it is accessible in the repository of the ELTE (EDIT)

Guild Record Collection

The Guild Record Collection of the University Library is an important source of the economic history of pre 1848 Hungary being the single major collection in the country. It consists of 850 pieces, which are listed in the printed catalogue and classified by professions:

Catalogus manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Reg. Scient. Universitatis Budapestinensis a Catalogus librorum manuscriptum (Tomus 2., Pars 1.)

A supplementation of this catalogue can be found in a later volume of that Catalogus: Catalogus collectionis Kaprinayanae et supplementa (Tomus 2., Pars 3.)

Correspondence of Scholars

The 18th century collection consists of letters written by mostly Jesuit scholars. The cca 970 pieces of documents are described in a manuscript catalogue written by András Tóth in 1989.


The University Library collects and preserves the dissertations which were written on the ELTE. The whole collection is entered in the OPAC, and the digital copies of the dissertations submitted after 1 Aug 2013 are accessible in the EDIT. The digitization of those submitted before is in process, along with making them accessible from the terminals of the reading rooms. The collection consists of cca 14.000 dissertations.

Party History

This collection consists of pamphlets and official printed documents of the Republic of Councils in Hungary, altogether cca 800 documents. The collection is available in the OPAC, and can be requested for reading in the research room.

Manuscript Collection of Translations

The collection consists of 420 typescript documents, and contains the translations of foreign language scholarly works mainly from the fields of humanities: sociology, philosophy and history. The documents got to the library from the Political College of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party. The works of this collection were mostly banned books in Hungary before 1989 and therefore not publicly available, and they were presumably translated for the leaders of the party. There are noted scholars, philosophers among the translators of these works, and there also can be found books among them that have no other Hungarian translation. The collection can be searched in the OPAC, and requested for reading in the research room.


Source/author of illustration: