Handwritten: ten centuries of manuscript treasures from Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

A blockbuster exhibition, Handwritten: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Treasures from Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, will open the National Library of Australia’s new Exhibition Gallery on Saturday 26 November – and a special catalogue has been published to celebrate the occasion.

The catalogue features essays and illustrations about treasures from the exhibition ranging from a rare receipt signed by Michelangelo to Beethoven’s working manuscript for Symphony No 5 to a letter by Alfred Nobel.

The National Library in Canberra will be the exclusive Australian venue for this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition from 26 November 2011 to 18 March 2012.

Catalogue cover image
Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/1498–1543)
Erasmus of Rotterdam writing, 1523 (detail)
Oil on wood; 37.1 x 30.8 cm
Kunstmuseum Basel

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Latin Book of Hours belonging to Nicolas von Firmian, Tyrolean nobleman (d. 1510)
Bruges or Ghent, c. 1500
Parchment; 240 fols; 19.5 x 14.0 cm
Hdschr.241, f. 232v

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Letter  from English mathematician, physicist, alchemist and philosopher Isaac Newton (1642-1727) to Giuseppe Gioacchino Carron di San Tommaso, Comte de Biançon, envoy from the Duke of Savoy to England, Italian nobleman (d. 1709), 6 June 1706
23.3 x 18.0 cm
Slg. Darmst. I 1665: Newton, Issac,f. 1r

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British navigator and explorer James Cook (1728-1779)
Report to the Commissioners of the Navy, 2 January 1776
23.1 x 18.8 cm
Slg. Darmst. Weltreisen 1772: Cook, James, f. 2r

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Letter  from Scottish mechanical engineer and inventor James Watt (1726-1819) accompanying a patent application to ‘the Kings Most Excellent Majesty’, 1785
33.0 x 20.8 cm
Slg. Darmst. F 2a: Watt, James, f. 3r

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Letter  from English author and editor Charles Dickens (1812-1870) to Clarissa Cattermole, née Elderton (1812-1892), 2 March 1869
20.2 x 12.7 cm
Slg. Darmst. 2m 1850: Dickens, Charles, f. 1r

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Letter  from Swedish chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) to Bernhard Turley, German mine director, 30 June 1880
21.1 x 26.9 cm
Slg.Darmst. E 1867: Nobel, Alfred, f. 2r

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Letter  from Polish physicist and chemist Marie Curie (1867-1934) to Albin Haller, French chemist (1849-1925), 1 August 1907
27.3 x 21.2 cm
Slg. Darmst. G 1 1898: Curie, Marie, f. 1r

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Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67, 1808
153 fols; 24.0 x 32.0 cm
Mus.ms.autogr. Beethoven, L. v., Mendelssohn-Stiftung 8, p. 1 (top) and p. 6 (bottom)

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Fanny Hensel, née Mendelssohn Bartholdy, German composer (1805-1847)
‘Traum’ (Dream), (1788-1857), 1844
4 pp.; 28.5 x 21.0 cm
MA Ms. 89,p. 1

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Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer and conductor (1860-1911)
Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Youth’s Magic Horn), 1892
17 fols; 31.5 x 25.0 cm
Mus.ms.autogr. Mahler, G. 1,f. 2r

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