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Finding Aids - Papyri, Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library: Unpublished resources

Introduction

This page lists the main unpublished resources held in the Library relating to medieval and renaissance manuscripts.

See also separate the pages for papyri and deeds and rolls.

Beta-radiographs

An inventory of Beta-Radiographs (1 cardboard box) is available in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room.

Bibliography

The medievalist staff of the Department maintain a bibliographical card index, known as 'Bodley Refs.', of references to Bodleian and other Oxford manuscripts. The index is arranged by manuscript shelfmark. It is compiled primarily from the indexes of new books selected for potential inclusion on the open shelves of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room, or for the general interest of readers in the room; and from offprints sent to the Library by authors who reproduce or cite its manuscripts in their publications. We welcome readers to bring further references to Oxford's medieval manuscripts to our attention, and would be very pleased to receive as gifts copies of published works citing them, especially those not published in the UK. Such offprints are filed in box-files, which, like the index cards, may be consulted on the open shelves of the Gallery behind the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room.

The 'Bodley Refs.' card index contains tens of thousands of cards, dating from the 1890s to the present day, while the offprints, newspaper clippings, etc., covering the same period, fill over one hundred box-files.

'Bodley Refs.' also includes a number of post-medieval manuscripts and manuscripts in Oxford college libraries.

'Bodley Refs.' are currently being converted into electronic form and published as a Zotero bibliography. The online bibliography at present includes material published between approximately 1992 and 2016. It can be searched from the Zotero website, and the bibliography for a particular manuscript - if any is known - can also be accessed from the entry for that manuscript in the online manuscript catalogue.

General catalogues

Handwritten catalogues of some collections, created between c. 1880 and c. 1902, are shelved in the Weston Gallery.

  • MSS. Add. Handwritten catalogue by F. Madan, shelved at R.6.58/1-4
  • MSS. Bodl. Handwritten catalogue (selected items) by F. Madan, shelved at R.6.66
  • MSS. Eng. Handwritten catalogue (selected items) by F. Madan, shelved at R.6.50
  • MSS. Fr., Germ., Russ., Span. Handwritten catalogue (selected items) by F. Madan, shelved at R.6.54
  • MSS. Gr. Handwritten catalogues (selected items) by F. Madan, shelved at R.6.94m/1-2
  • MSS. Lat. Handwritten catalogue (selected items) by F. Madan, shelved at R.6.52
  • MSS. Laud. Gr. Handwritten catalogue (selected MSS.) Kirsopp Lake, c. 1902-11, shelved at R.6.96/1-2
  • MSS. Top. Handwritten catalogue (selected items) by F. Madan, shelved at R.6.52

 

Illuminated manuscripts

Pacht & Alexander Slips (made while compiling "Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library")

Miss Callard's watercolours

A series of very faithfully-copied watercolours of thousands of initials in 12th- and 13th-century manuscripts in Oxford, painted by Miss D. M. Callard, is available on request to a member of staff on duty in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room. They are arranged by place of medieval origin, where known, which means that one can look, for example, at dozens of initials from Canterbury or Reading manuscripts, without having to order all the manuscripts themselves.

Some examples are reproduced in:

Iconography

An iconographic card index of subjects illustrated in the medieval manuscripts of the Bodleian and other Oxford libraries is available in the library. Contact Specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for more information.

Legal manuscripts

A card index of Initia of manuscripts, mainly legal (1 box) available in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room.

Liturgical manuscripts

S. J. P. van Dijk's unpublished typescript Handlist of the Latin liturgical manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (6 vols. in 7, Oxford, [1957-60]), is kept on the open shelves in the Weston Library Gallery (at R.6.152); it consists of:


I Mass books [1957]
II(i) Office books [1957]
II(ii) Office lectionaries [1957]
III Rituals & directories [1958]
IV Books of Hours [1959]
V Fragments - Mass books [1959]
VI Fragments - Office books, rituals, directories [1959]
VII Indexes [1960]
The typescript's shelfmark is MS. Eng. liturg. d. 8; it has been microfilmed, and thus copies are available for purchase from the Library (see Imaging Services).

Photographs and microfilms

Bindings

Collections of rubbings, photographs, notes, and indexes made by former members of Bodleian staff and other students of bookbinding, relating to bindings in the Bodleian and elsewhere. These are available on request in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room.

 

Cranz microfilms of unpublished inventories of manuscripts

The following set of 347 reels of 35 mm. microfilm is available in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room:

This is a companion to the thirty-eight reels which comprise:

Each is accompanied by a printed guide.

 

E. A. Lowe, Codices Latini Antiquiores

A collection of about 2500 black & white prints arranged in twenty-three albums, consisting of nineteen albums of Codices Latini Antiquiores material (arranged in CLA order), one album of Beneventan, and three albums of other manuscripts, with a card index arranged in order of the location of the originals. The Bodleian owns the negatives for the majority of the images, and readers may order prints from most of these for private study. Available in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room.

 

E. K. Rand, A Survey of the Manuscripts of Tours

Two volumes of black & white photographs; cf. A survey of the manuscripts of Tours (Studies in the script of Tours, I; Mediaeval Academy of America Publications, no. 3: Cambridge, Mass., 1929), and The earliest book of Tours: with supplementary descriptions of other manuscripts of Tours (Studies in the script of Tours, II; Mediaeval Academy of America Publications, no. 20: Cambridge, Mass., 1934), both of which are on the open shelves in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room.

 

Humanistic script

  • An extensive collection of reproductions and indexes covering Italian humanistic script compiled by A. Fairbank and A. C. de la Mare. The card indexes (locations of originals; scribes and previous owners; dated manuscripts) often contain valuable unpublished information. Available in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room.
  • The James Wardrop collection of seven albums of black & white photographs illustrating Italian humanistic script, arranged by the location of the originals; together with an album covering 16th-century printed writing-books, and one covering the work of Edward Johnston, et al. Available in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room. Many of the prints are from negatives owned by the Bodleian, from which readers may order prints, provided that they first obtain permission from the owners of the originals. On this collection see R. Stone, 'The James Wardrop Collection of prints and negatives', and B. Barker-Benfield, 'List of negatives', Bodleian Library Record, 8 no. 6 (1972), 297-337 and pl. XXIII.

Renaissance Greek script

Collections of E. Lobel and R. Barbour, comprising sixteen albums of black & white photographs representing renaissance Greek scripts, arranged by forename of scribe, with indexes of surnames and locations of originals. Available in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room. The collection was intended to be used in conjuction with M. Vogel and V. Gardthausen, Die greischischen Schreiber des Mittelalters und der Renaissance, Beihefte zur Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen, 33 (1909), of which there is an annotated copy in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room. The collection was used extensively in the preparation of Ernst Gamillscheg and Dieter Harlfinger, Repertorium der griechischen Kopisten, 800-1600, 1. Teil: Handschriften aus Bibliotheken Grossbritanniens Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Byzantinistik, 3 (Vienna, 1981).

Provenance

Medieval libraries

Canonici / Soranzo manuscripts

J. Mitchell's Concordance of the Canonici/Soranzo manuscripts (2 drawers) is available in Duke Humfrey's Library at Arch. E cupboard item 16.

Phillipps manuscripts

The Bodleian has extensive resources for the study of Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872) and his unparalleled collection of manuscripts. These include, on the open shelves in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room:

  • One of the few complete copies of his Catalogus librorum manuscriptorum in Bibliotheca Phillippica (2 vols., Middle Hill, 1837-[71]).
  • A printout from microfilm of A. N. L. Munby's interleaved copy of the above catalogue, annotated by him with details of the manuscripts' auction date and lot number, and subsequent owners, where known. This is kept up to date, so far as has been possible, by the Bodleian manuscripts staff.
  • Photocopies of the Sotheby's auction catalogues in which the collection was dispersed, annotated with prices and buyers' names.

In 1958 Lionel and Philip Robinson gave the Bodleian Sir Thomas's topographical collections and personal papers, including correspondence about, notes on, and draft catalogues of, the manuscripts. These collections are shelfmarked as MSS. Phillipps-Robinson, and are described in the Summary catalogue of post-medieval western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, vol. II, pp. 961-1088. A more detailed typescript catalogue with an index is available in the Library, and a copy is at the National Register of Archives. Microfilms of Phillipps's correspondence in this collection is available.

In 1975 the Library bought the papers of A. N. L. Munby (1913-74), concerning the writing of his Phillipps studies (5 vols., Cambridge, 1951-60), and the history and location of the Phillipps manuscripts. These are shelfmarked as MSS. Phillipps-Munby and are described  in the Summary catalogue of post-medieval western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, vol. II, pp. 955-961.

The majority of the Phillipps medieval manuscripts which are now at the Bodleian are listed in:

Vernacular manuscripts

An index of medieval Vernacular manuscripts (1 box) is available in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room.