Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

MSS. Bodl.:
manuscripts from various collections



MSS. Bodl. were acquired at various times before c. 1860, from various sources; to find the description of an individual manuscript, one must look up its shelfmark in the 'Conspectus of shelf-marks of western manuscripts', Summary Catalogue, I, pp. 11-14.

Some fragments of polyphonic music have been removed from the binding of MS. Bodl. 271 in recent years.

History of the collection

The 'Bodley' collection was first formed about 1761 for Western manuscripts not included in other definite collections, so that it became the ultimate repository of miscellaneous manuscripts received singly or in groups since the foundation of the Library, except that the manuscripts known as e Musaeo still comprise about 250 of the more valuable volumes which were taken out of the body of miscellaneous manuscripts shortly before 1660.

When first collected the 'Bodley MSS.' were 931 in number, of which perhaps 900 were old mansucripts with numbers in Edward Bernard, Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliæ et Hiberniæ in unum collecti (2 vols., Oxford, '1697' [really 1698]), chiefly between nos. 1840 and 2772, and the rest additions of 1695-1760. Soon after the Auctarium was made use of, about 60 of the 931 were taken out as especially valuable, and given 'Auct.' references, c. 1795-1800.

The use of the 'MSS. Bodl.' shelfmark continued to be used until c. 1860, when H. O. Coxe started a new series called 'Addit. Bodl.', which were subsequently renamed and renumbered as 'MSS. Add.'

Western manuscripts to c. 1500
Western manuscripts
Bodleian Library | Oxford libraries | Oxford University

Bodleian Library logo
Page created 1 April 2000 by PJK; revised 05 August 2009 by LwM © Bodleian Library