The Oriental Department administrates all Oriental and parts of the East Asian manuscripts of the Staatsbibliothek. The same applies to Tibetan and Mongolian block prints as well as photocopies, facsimile editions and microfilms of oriental manuscripts.
The collection currently comprises more than 42,000 volumes of original manuscripts as well as more than 180,000 films, mainly of manuscripts from Nepal, which have been filmed by the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project. The Oriental Department has also been entrusted with the librarian and conservational care of the approximately 40,000 manuscript fragments of the Berlin Turfan Collection, which are partly owned by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and partly by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. Other fragments are in the Museum of Asian Art.
The Qalamos database records the shelf marks of all Berlin manuscripts with basic metadata. The proportion of detailed descriptions is growing continuously and already includes all digitized manuscripts. Since August 2020, the description data of all manuscripts in Arabic, Persian and Ottoman-Turkish have been recorded in Qalamos as part of a DFG project. The migration of the Turfan collection's metadata to the portal will be completed by the end of 2023.
The Nepalese films were indexed by the "Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project" in Hamburg, where databases are accessible.