Bodleian Library logo

Collection Level Description: Langbaine Manuscripts

Reference: MSS. Langb. 1-21
Title: Langbaine Manuscripts
Dates of Creation: 17th cent.
Extent: 21 shelfmarks

Language of Material: Latin and Ancient Greek

Administrative/Biographical History

Gerard Langbaine the elder was born in 1609 in Westmorland, and in 1625 came to the Queen's College, Oxford, where he was successively bateller, servitor, tabarder, fellow (1633), and provost (1646). In 1644 he was elected Keeper of the Archives. Although a staunch Royalist he managed to retain his provostship until his death on 10 February 1658, which was caused by 'an extreme cold taken sitting in the University Library'. He must be distinguished from his younger son of the same name, the dramatic biographer and critic who lived from 1656 to 1692.

Langbaine wrote many valuable catalogues, lists, and volumes of excerpts relating to Bodleian manuscripts, chiefly in 1654-5, and much of his work was printed in the Old Catalogue of 1697. Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Scope and Content

Langbaine's manuscripts, including material relating to Greek manuscripts, the Bodleian Library and Oxford colleges.

Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Part of the collection was bought for £11 and arrived in 1658. Part was given to the Library by Antony Wood and part was bequeathed by Langbaine himself.

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

Full descriptions, in Latin, are in Henry O. Coxe, Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae pars prima recensionem codicum Graecorum continens (Oxford, 1853; reprinted with corrections, 1969).

Brief one-line descriptions, with shelfmarks and short titles, are in 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. II, nos. 5232a-5232u.

Related Units of Description

See also Wood Manuscripts (MSS. Wood donat. 1-9).

Access Points

Manuscripts, Greek

Langbaine | Gerard | 1609-1658 | Provost of Queen's College Oxford, Royalist Pamphleteer, and Archivist

Bodleian Library

University of Oxford

Contact Information
Search Online Catalogues

Consulting material: To consult archives and manuscripts, a full and unrestricted Bodleian reader's card (Group A) is required. You should apply for your card at the Admissions Office.

Pre-ordering: Before your visit you may order up to ten items by emailing Please be advised that some collection material is held offsite; we advise pre-ordering at least two working days before your visit to ensure material is available on your arrival.

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
09 June 2011