Historical documents of Grant Duchy of Lithuania
Popes letters
Documents in French
Historical documents of Italy
Other manuscripts




For God's sake, may these works endure in timeless memory. For every deed is destined to sink into oblivion as centuries pass by and so it was decided to have a written record for future generations…

From the privilege of Sigismund Augustus, King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania  of June 6, 1563.

The Collection of Parchments (Fund No 101) of Rare Book and Manuscript Department of Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania is comprised of 144 valuable items. 

The collection has been accumulated since 1919. The major part of the fund found its way to the Library in 1946-1947. The then head of the Library Juozas Rimantas had been authorized to collect manuscripts left without owners as well as manuscripts kept in unsuitable storing conditions. Some documents have found their way to the Library from Vilnius Archive Fund. Storage history of  some manuscripts remains unknown. 

An extract from the privilege  of Sigismund Augustus of  June 6, 1563 (F101-31)

An extract from the letter of  John Casimir, King of Poland and the  Grand Duke of Lithuania   (F101-70)

 As one can see from the name of the fund, the only criterion used in the formation of the Collection is manuscript material. Such a principle has duly led to the great variety of the Collection. Still the core of the collection is made up of juridical documents (134 valuable items), the most of them were written in Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Italy and France. Also a significant part of the Collection includes documents issued by Roman Curia. It allows to classify the manuscripts into the following groups:

  • Historical Documents of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

The largest document group of the Collection contains 65 items, covering the period from 1465 to 1818. Manuscripts have been written in Latin, Office Slavic and Polish. The major part is comprised of the charters of the kings of Poland and grand dukes of Lithuania (42 items). The Collection also contains letters issued by Lithuanian nobility, church superiors, charters of the magistrate of Vilnius, extracts from the different books of acts. Most of the documents, kept in the Collection, are originals. There are only 3 copies. (>>>)

The bulla of Pope Clement  XII (F101-99)

The oldest document of the  collection – the deed of land transfer of 1329, Italy (F101-1)

  • Historical Italian Documents

The Collection contains 25 documents (dated 1329–1771) pertaining to the history of Italy, amongst them the oldest manuscript of the Collection – the deed of land property transfer dating from 1329. Manuscripts were written in Latin and Italian. All the documents of the group are originals. (>>>)

  • Historical French Documents

14 recent documents (dated 1640–1811) compose only a small part of the Collection. Manuscripts were written in French and Latin.  The majority of the documents are copies of the extracts of juridical documents. Three originals relate to the family history of Dumesnile.(>>>)

  • Popes' Letters

This document group is comprised of  twenty papal bullas, ten briefs and two letters issued by institutions of the Catholic Church. The oldest document in this group was written in 1477 and the most recent one in 1899. Most of the bullas and briefs were addressed to Italian dioceses. Three bullas and five briefs were issued to the diocese of Vilnius and the Žemaitian diocese, Lithuania. (>>>)

  • Other Documents

The group includes the only book, kept in the Collection, a copy of a treatise by Hugo de Folieto De claustro animae, dating from the 14th century; fragments from medieval treatises in Latin and manuscript liturgical books and three other documents (two of them were written in English and one was written in German).  (>>>).