The Buxheim Charterhouse library accumulated over 700 manuscripts in its 400-year history. The auction catalog of 1883 lists 452 volumes, and we know that this did not include all manuscripts. The eighteenth-century shelf marks attached to the bottom of the spines of book bindings count to at least 711. At present some 500 manuscripts can be identified with regard to their current location. Many of these were originally gifts from those who entered the monastery, many were produced at the Charterhouse itself. They include several thirteenth-century psalters and thus range in age from well before the monastery’s foundation (1402), to the middle of the eighteenth century. Even once the technology of movable type and the printed book had taken hold in the second half of the fifteenth century, and Buxheim’s librarians were enthusiastic collectors, the Carthusians continued to copy and write their own books in manuscript form throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and beyond.
The following catalogs detail the library’s manuscript collection in several different ways. The first of these tables lists manuscripts according to the eighteenth-century shelf mark numbering system. So far, 169 manuscripts have been identified by this number on parchment labels affixed to the bottom of the binding’s spine, ranging from a red 3 to a final black 711. In general terms, the older manuscripts, that is pre-sixteenth century, received red numbers and more recent manuscripts, mostly seventeenth century, were labeled with black numbers.