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Collection Level Description: Manuscripts of Jacques Philippe D'Orville

Reference: MSS. D'Orville 1-618
Title: Manuscripts of Jacques Philippe D'Orville
Dates of Creation: 9th-18th cent.
Extent: 618 shelfmarks

Language of Material: Latin, Ancient Greek, Dutch, French, German, English, and Italian

Administrative/Biographical History

Jacques Philippe D'Orville (1696-1751), classical scholar, was born at Amsterdam of a French Protestant family, and educated at the University of Leyden. From 1723 to 1729 he travelled in France, England, Italy and Germany, with the object of acquainting himself with the remains of classical literature and art and with the best living scholars. He was at Oxford 18-26 August 1718, 28 July-3 September 1725, and 13-15, 18-19 June 1751. From 1730 to 1742 he was Professor of History, Eloquence and Greek at Amsterdam, being succeeded by Petrus Burmannus the younger, with whom he edited the Miscellaneae Observationes in auctores veteres et recteiores, 1732-9. From 1740 to 1751 D'Orville edited alone Miscellaneae Observationes creticae novae. Both series contain many references to the D'Orville manuscripts, which had been gradually acquired. D'Orville's other chief works were an edition of Charito (1750, 1783) and his Sicula, a history of Sicily (1762-4, posthumously printed).

Scope and Content

Manuscripts of Jacques Philippe D'Orville. His chief collections were made with a view to editing Theocritus and the Greek Anthology. The bulk of the manuscripts are not ancient, and largely consist of collations in printed books, and transcripts and notes, with many papers of Scipio and Alberico Gentili, and much of D'Orville's own correspondence.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

D'Orville's only surviving son Jean was born in 1734, and to him the whole collection passed at his father's death in 1751. Eventually it was trasferred to London, passed to a grandson also named Jean, and was sold to J. Cleaver Banks.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was purchased almost intact from J.Cleaver Banks for £1025, a sum raised by subsidiary items to about £1095, in 1804.

Access Conditions

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Further Information

Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. IV, nos. 16879-17496.

For a more detailed description of the medieval manuscripts in this collection see

Related Units of Description

See also Additional D'Orville Manuscripts. For papers relating to Gentili Alberico see Papers of Sir Thomas Erskine Holland.

Access Points

Classical literature

D'Orville | Jacques Philippe | 1696-1751 | Classical Scholar

Gentili | Alberico | 1552-1608 | Italian jurist

Gentilis | Scipio | 1563-1616 | Professor of Law at Altdorf

Theocritus | c 300 BC-260 BC | Greek poet

Contact Information
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09 June 2011