Catalogue of papers of James Legge, 1859-97

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

C. Parker


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Papers of James Legge, 1859-97

Correspondence, book reviews and a journal, 1859-97.

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. c. 7124; Eng. misc. f. 864

Extent: 2 shelfmarks

Biographical History

James Legge (1815-97) was educated at Aberdeen grammar school and King's College, Aberdeen. He extended his studies at the theological college in Highbury, London, and in 1839 he was appointed by the London Missionary Society, to the Chinese mission at Malacca. He was actively involved in missionary work in Malacca, China and Hong Kong from that time, until 1873. He was appointed the first Professor of Chinese at the University of Oxford in 1875, and held this position until his death in 1897.

Scope and Content

Correspondence and book reviews of James Legge, correspondence of his wife, Hannah, and a journal belonging to her mother, 1859-97.


Transferred from the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, 1971.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. c. 7124, fols. 1-2].

Related Material

A description of Legge's papers, including lectures and working notes, can be found in M. Clapinson and T.D. Rogers, Summary Catalogue of Post-Medieval Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Acquisitions 1916-1975 (Oxford, 1991), vol. I, nos. 45112-30.

Personal names (NCA Rules)

Legge | James | 1815-1897 | missionary and sinologist

Descriptive List

Notebook containing intermittent diary entries (perhaps copied later?) by -- Johnstone, mother-in-law of James Legge, 1859-62
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. f. 864
Extent: i + 49 leaves
Binding: Brown blind-ruled stiffened cloth

Correspondence of James and Hannah Legge, book reviews written by James Legge, and some printed material, 1862-97
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. c. 7124
Extent: 144 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-38) letters from James Legge to various correspondents, mostly copies, 1862-92
  • (fols. 41-68) letters from Hannah Legge, in Hong Kong, to family members, 1862-5
  • (fols. 74-119) copies of book reviews written by James Legge, 1877-94
  • (fols. 120-8) printed memorial address and newspaper cutting relating to the death of James Legge, 1897
  • (fols. 129-44) 'Faith', printed lecture by 'Professor Green', (inscription fol. 130), with pencil notes by Legge (see fols. 19-24, for letter relating to it), c.1878

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
19 May 2011