The Brukenthal Library is located in the back inner courtyard of the Brukenthal Palace.
The establishing of the Brukenthal Library was possible due to the book resources purchased by Baron Samuel von Brukenthal (15,972 volumes), enlarged over the years through the means of other collections, among which: the Chapel Library (founded as early as the 14th century, encompassing the Dominican Monastery Library and the libraries in the former possession of rich patricians from Sibiu), the book resources of the Evangelic Chapter, the one of the Law Academy and a series of donations from individuals as well as scientific institutions within the country and from abroad.
The total of volumes came to approximately 280000.
Out of the manuscript collection of 778 volumes, to mentioned are:
The Brukenthal Breviary (purchased in 1786, in Vienna, and done in the Low Countries at the beginning of the 16th century, written on parchment, presenting tiny Gothic characters and miniatures in painting that were ascribed to Simon Bening and Geeraert Hornebaut).
Vigiliale (manuscript on parchment dating from 1507; the pages include Gothic characters and neumes, presenting initials done in red, blue and black).
442 titles grouped in 382 volumes, among which: Opus praeclarum quarti scripti by Thomas Aquinas (Mainz 1469), Breviarum croaticum (1493); Petrarch’s Triomphi (1488), Schedel's Chronicles (2,000 illustrations engraved in wood, Nuremberg, 1493), De mirabilibus mundi by Solinus C. Iulius (Venice, 1488), Strabo's Geografia (Rome, 1473); The Natural History by Pliny the Elder (Venice, 1498) etc.
Rare European Books
From the 16th to the 18th century date approximately 30,000 rare books, many of them illustrated with valuable engravings, coming from the most famous printing houses in Europe and the greatest publishers of those times: Aldus Manutius,replica Rolex Datejust
, Robertus Stephanus, Cristoph Plantin, Elzevir, the Trechsel brothers, Abraham Ortelius, Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg etc.
Rare Romanian Books
Out of the 1,500 rare Romanian books, many of them testifying the cultural interchange among the three Romanian historical provinces, here are to be mentioned Vaarlam's Cazania (Iasi, 1643), The New Testament of Belgrade (1648) and ªerban Cantacuzino’s Bible (Bucharest, 1688).
The Brukenthal National Museum also owns a rich collection of Transylvanian books. Part of the library there are some of the first books published in Transylvania due to the effort of famous printers like Johannes Honterus from Brasov, Kaspar Heltay from Cluj, Marcus Pristorius and Abraham Kertész from Sibiu.