Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Browse images of manuscripts



List of manuscripts, arranged by century and country of origin:

MS. Don. b. 6, fol. 48v (detail)


About a thousand images can be reached from this page. Information about the manuscripts and the digital images can be found at the bottom of this page, and at the bottom of the pages with the images themselves, under the following headings:

A considerable number of Oxford's most important manuscripts have been digitized at high resolution in their entirety: these images can be reached from

List of manuscripts, arranged by century and country of origin

11th century


Miscellaneous 11th-century manuscripts

12th century


Miscellaneous 12th-century manuscripts

13th century




Miscellaneous 13th-century manuscripts

Late 13th to early 14th century


Miscellaneous late 13th- to early 14th-century manuscripts

14th century



Miscellaneous 14th-century manuscripts

Late 14th to early 15th century


15th century


Miscellaneous 15th-century English manuscripts



Miscellaneous 15th-century German manuscripts


Miscellaneous 15th-century Italian manuscripts

The Netherlands

Miscellaneous 15th-century Netherlandish manuscripts

Late 15th to early 16th century



The Netherlands

Miscellaneous late 15th to early 16th century manuscripts

16th century


Miscellaneous 16th-century manuscripts

17th century

Catalogue information

In cases where there is no official published Library catalogue description for one of these manuscripts, such a description is currently being prepared. In these cases, as an interim measure, we have provided skeletal 'checklist' information, which includes a bibliography that will direct users to sources of further details.

Bodleian filmstrips

The 35 mm. filmstrips or slides from which these images are scanned derive mostly from a stock of more than 30,000 images, as published by the Bodleian Library over the last forty years or so.

The core of the slides and filmstrips collection — all the images of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts belonging to the Bodleian, but excluding those of non-Bodleian manuscripts, later manuscripts, printed books, etc. — was digitized more recently in a project funded by ARTsstor, and is now alteratively available through the LUNA browser in the collection named 'Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (from 35mm)' as listed at This website duplicates most but not all of the images presented above.

Image captions

The captions accompanying the images are mostly taken from handlists prepared over the decades by a number of staff and volunteers to accompany the published filmstrips. They are intended to serve here as a guide to content of the images, but have not been systematically rechecked.

Image quality

Since most of the images presented here have been scanned from the Library's stock of existing slides and filmstrips; their quality is not always up to the highest standards of new photography. Nonetheless, it is hoped that even the scans from the oldest filmstrips will provide users with a great deal of further material for visual reference, in a convenient form. Users who require higher quality images may order photographs in the normal way: see the Imaging Services page.

Sometimes two or more thumbnails may show the same subject. Such apparent duplicates are included for archival purposes: they will derive from shots of the same item, taken at different times, and may therefore show differences of lighting, colour contrast and general quality.

Image editing software has been used to 'sharpen' the thumbnail images, and to reduce the number of colours each thumbnail contains to a maximum of 256; but no manipulation of the larger images has been performed. Users may use their own imaging software to alter features such as the the brightness, contrast, or colour-balance of the images, for purposes of private study.

The images were scanned from existing 35 mm. transparencies using a Nikon LS-2000 slide scanner, at a resolution of 2,700 dpi, in 24-bit colour, which produces an uncompressed TIFF image file a little under 30MB in size. The shelfmark, folio reference, and copyright notice were then added to each file manually using Adobe Photoshop, and saved as an uncompressed TIFF. A batch process using Photoshop creates the JPEG compressed files.

Note that the apparent quality of the images as viewed on-screen is in part dependent upon the quality of the monitor used to view them, and the apparent colour-values are likewise dependent on whether the monitor has been correctly calibrated, and on the ambient lighting conditions of the room.

Image sizes

The JPEG thumbnail images on the linked pages are 200 pixels in length along their longest side, use no more than 256 colours, and the files are each about 15-20KB in size. Clicking on each of these images will load a larger version, 500 pixels in length.

The larger versions of each image, respectively 500, 1000, and 1500 pixels along the long side, can be viewed by clicking on the 'Small', 'Medium', and 'Large' links beneath each caption. The images of 500 pixel-length are each about 50-100 KB in size; the 1000 pixel ones about 200-350 KB, and the 1500 pixel ones are about 500-750 KB. We recommend that users start by selecting the smaller sizes before attempting to download the larger ones, since the latter may seem slow to load: this will depend on the speed of each user's internet connection and computer system.

Western manuscripts to c. 1500
Western manuscripts
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Page created December 1999 by PJK; last modified 19 October 2009 by LwM.
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