manuscripts from the library of the Earls of
Leicester at Holkham Hall
There is as yet no full published description of the Holkham manuscripts
at the Bodleian; unpublished typescript descriptions are available for most of
them in the Special Collections Reading Room. The following should also prove useful:
- Seymour de Ricci, A handlist of manuscripts in the library of the
Earl of Leicester at Holkham Hall: abstracted from the catalogues of William
Roscoe and Frederic Madden (Supplement to the Bibliographical Society's
Transactions, 7, Oxford, 1932), of which the copy in the Special Collections Reading Room
(R. Cat. 198) is
annotated with present locations and new shelfmarks at the Bodleian and British
Library, together with notes of the Bodleian's microfilm holdings of
manuscripts still at Holkham.
- Holkham Hall, MS. 770: Catalogue of manuscripts in the library at
Holkham in the county of Norfolk belonging to Thomas William Coke Esq. M.P.,
compiled and arranged by William Roscoe, collated and enlarged by Frederic
Madden (8 vols., 1815-28); published as three rolls of microfilm by Micro
Methods Ltd. (Wakefield, 1971) [The Bodleian copies are shelfmarked MSS. Films
- Ruth Barbour, 'Greek manuscripts from Holkham', Bodleian Library
Record 5 no. 2 (1954), 61-2.
- Ruth Barbour, 'Summary description of the Greek manuscripts from the
library at Holkham Hall', Bodleian Library Record 6 no. 5 (1960),
Catalogue descriptions are in course of preparation; in the meantime,
brief 'checklist' descriptions are
A concordance of former Holkham
Hall numbers and the current Bodleian shelfmarks is available online for the
MSS. Holkham misc. manuscripts.
These manuscripts were acquired from the collection of the Earls of
Leicester at Holkham Hall, near Wells, Norfolk, through successive settlements
of death duties. Information about the earlier history of the collection will
be found in publications listed below.
The literature on the library of Holkham is extensive, the following are
just a few of the more important published works, in chronological order of
publication, though it must be emphasised that by no means all the manuscripts
mentioned are now at the Bodleian:
- W. Roscoe, 'Some account of the manuscript library at Holkham, in
Norfolk, belonging to T. W. Coke, Esq', Transactions of the Royal Society of
Literature of the United Kingdom} 2 (1834), 352-79
- Alfred J. Horwood, 'The manuscripts of the Right Honourable the Earl
of Leicester, Holkham Hall, Norfolk', in Ninth Report of the Commission on
historical manuscripts, pt. II (Appendix and Index), (London, 1884),
- Richard Förster, 'Handschriften in Holkham', Philologus
42 (1884), 158-67.
- Léon Dorez, Les manuscrits à
peintures de la bibliothèque de Lord Leicester à Holkham Hall,
Norfolk: choix de miniatures et de reliures, publiés sous les auspices
de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres et de la
Société des Bibliophiles François (Paris,
- C. W. James, 'Some notes on the manuscript library at Holkham',
The Library 4th series, 2 no. 4 (1922), 213-37.
- W. O. Hassall, 'The books of Sir Christopher Hatton at Holkham',
The Library 5th series, 5 no. 1 (1950), 1-13, and pl.
- W. O. Hassall, ed., The Holkham library: illuminations and
illustrations in the manuscript library of the Earl of Leicester (Oxford,
Western manuscripts to
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