Bodleian Library logo

Collection Level Description: Malone Manuscripts

Reference: Malone 2a, 235, 238, 531, 571; MSS. Malone 1-24, 32
Title: Malone Manuscripts
Dates of Creation: 17th-19th cent.
Extent: 30 shelfmarks

Language of Material: English, Latin, and Ancient Greek

Administrative/Biographical History

Edmund Malone (1741-1812), critic and author, was born in at Dublin, and graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1762. In 1763 he entered the society of the Inner Temple in London, and soon became a friend of Johnson, Reynolds, Boswell, Burke, and other literary celebrities. His interest in Shakespeare dates from 1777, and resulted in an edition of his works in 1790 (11 volumes) and many corrections and additions for a new issue which only came out after his death, in 1821 (21 volumes). In connection with Shakespeare, Malone systematically purchased early English plays and formed a very large and valuable collection. In 1782 he exposed Chatterton's Rowley poems, and in 1796 Ireland's Shakespeare forgeries. He issued an edition of Dryden in 1800. On 5 July 1793 he received the honorary degree of DCL at Oxford, having in that year been engaged in research at the Ashmolean Museum and Bodleian. Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Scope and Content

Manuscripts and a few printed books collected by Malone, relating to poetry and drama.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Malone died on 25 April 1812 and left his library to his brother, Lord Sunderlin.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

In 1815 Lord Sunderlin presented part of the collection to the Library, but the gift was not actually received until 1821, when James Boswell the younger had brought out the posthumous edition of Malone's Shakespeare.

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. 20549-78.

Related Units of Description

See also Malone Papers and Additional Papers of Edmund Malone.

Access Points




Malone | Edmund | 1741-1812 | Critic and Author

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