Skip to main content

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

Purpose of this guide

This guide is for students and researchers using manuscripts from the medieval and renaissance periods, including papyri and charters, held in the Bodleian Libraries and in Oxford college libraries. On this page you will find:

  • details of online resources -  catalogues, bibliography, and our digital image library
  • details of printed catalogues, with links to digitized copies in most cases
  • details of unpublished catalogues and card indexes. Several of these relate to collections outside Oxford.
  • details of resources for papyri, charters, and seals
  • information about the main named collections Bodleian and their donors 
  • information on medieval and renaissance collections in Oxford colleges

Contact us

Special Collections Reading Rooms

First steps

The first place to search for a manuscript is online. Our online catalogue, Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries, contains a record for every medieval manuscript in the Bodleian. The records link to our online bibliography, which can also be searched independently. Images of selected manuscripts may be found in Digital.Bodleian.

Most of the records in the online catalogue are summary descriptions. Many manuscripts are described in more detail in our published catalogues, many of which have been digitized. The indexes to these catalogues are also often fuller than the online indexes. There may well be further information in unpublished resources held in the library itself.

For more information on the history of our collections, and advice on finding papryi, charters, and rolls, see the page on shelfmarks and collections.

The Bodleian also holds the collections of some Oxford colleges.

You can also email us for advice at