The library's holdings comprise 61 complete and in part fragmentary manuscripts, letters, documents and other
objects (including a part of an Egyptian sarcophagus, hieroglyphs) in Turkish, Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and other
Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Sanskrit, Sinhalese, Tamil, Ethiopian).
The holdings have been complemented to this day both by bringing together individual items from other segments of
the collection and by donations or occasional purchases of a wide variety of individual objects.
The collection, which has been compiled under the shelf marks 'Ms. orient' and 'Ms. orient. Anhang', has always
been an unsystematic collection containing written material of various types and origins in numerous non-European
languages. The oldest preserved descriptions of oriental manuscripts in Kassel were prepared in 1740 by the
Marburg Orientalist Nikolaus Wilhelm Schröder. They also include items that can no longer be traced in the
collection and were probably lost at the latest during or soon after the bombardment of Kassel in September 1941.
The oldest parts of the collection are made up of objects that originated in the possession of the Counts of
Hessen-Kassel and can already be identified in the Kunst- und Kuriositätenkammer des Landgrafen Moritz des
Gelehrten (1572−1632). Particularly outstanding collection pieces were also mentioned by Johann Friedrich von
Uffenbach in his travel report on his visit to Kassel in 1708. The collection received more significant growth
under Moritz's great-grandson Landgraf Carl (1654−1730): both through plunder from the Turkish wars, which were
venerated to the Landgarf, and in 1685 from the (so-called 'Palatine') inheritance of the extensive Heidelberg
library of the Palatine Counts near the Rhine.
The fully digitised inventory catalogues can be found