Skip to Main Content

Manuscripts: Archives and Modern: Named Collections

A guide to the finding aids available for early modern and modern manuscripts and printed ephemera in the Bodleian Library.

What is a named collection?

Large or otherwise important collections of manuscripts acquired by the Library are accessioned with the name of their donor or collector (e.g. MSS. Abinger, MSS. Bankes, MSS. Canonici). These are known as the named collections.

Smaller purchases and donations were, until 1887, accessioned under shelfmarks created for miscellaneous accessions (e.g. Additional (Add.), Bodley (Bodl.), Donation (Don.), etc.) and more recently have been shelfmarked according to their principal language and size (e.g. MS. Eng. c.).

An historical introduction and conspectus of the shelfmarks in use by 1915 is printed in vol. I of the Summary Catalogue, but a number of new shelfmarks have been created since then; these are listed on the relevant web pages.

General finding aids for named collections

Calendars, indexes, concordances & editions

Arranged alphabetically by collection. Unless otherwise stated, the links here are to SOLO records of book or journal holdings within Oxford. These will usually be of published calendars or editions of manuscripts.