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Rare Books: Named collections index

A guide to finding and using rare books in the Bodleian Library

Index of named collections of rare books

Allen, P. S. (Percy Stafford), 1869-1933  Erasmus scholar, President of Corpus Christi College (1924), and Mrs H M Allen, his widow. Bequeathed by Mrs Allen in accordance with the wishes of her husband in 1953. A collection comprising original editions of the works of Erasmus, and a comprehensive working library of c. 2,000 items relating to Erasmus, built up by the Allens in the course of editing the Opus epistolarum. The books date from the 16th-20th centuries, with a wide variety of places of publication, and include a collection of offprints and pamphlets.


Alm. [Almanac]  A collection of almanacs, shelved in chronological sequence. c. 250 volumes of all dates, some containing several almanacs. Supplementary to the almanacs in other collections.


Antiq. [Antiquiora]  A shelfmark used between 1883 and 1936 for antiquarian accessions with subdivision by size, place of printing, and date. c. 4,000 volumes of the 16th-18th centuries.


Arch. [Archivium]  Certain categories of books of all periods which, on account of their rarity, value, very small size etc, would be unsuitably placed in the current classification. Sections include: over 800 very rare and valuable books printed in England or printed in English abroad; over 250 foreign books; over 200 fine examples of modern (including 18th century) printing, and books printed in very limited editions; c. 150 books judged to be pornographic but possessing literary merit; c. 150 examples of early English printing; over 40 examples of important association copies and books with MS notes; over 110 albums and volumes containing original photographs.


Arch.Antiq.  250 books of the 18th and 19th centuries.


Arch.Jur.  280 volumes of the 16th-18th centuries, including editions of Horace.


Arch.Nat. Hist.  c. 370 works of natural history of the 18th and 19th centuries.


Arch.Num.  Over 1,200 works on numismatics, mainly 18th and 19th centuries.


Arch.Seld.  c. 180 works of the 17th-19th centuries, including Spanish books.


Arch.SIGMA  270 works, mainly Spanish, of the 16th-18th centuries.


Art. [Artes]  One part of the original Bodleian four-part classification by faculty or subject. Included mathematics, history, philosophy and literature. In use in various forms 1602-1789, and less frequently until c. 1840. In later years the distribution by faculty began to be disregarded and books were added where there was space on the shelves. Over 8,000 volumes of the 16th-early 19th centuries.


Arts.  Over 500 folios and large quartos on arts subjects received among the new books between 1861 and 1883.


AS.  (An arbitrary symbol, formed by analogy with BS.) Used between 1805 and 1820 as a shelfmark for the smaller volumes in quarto. 540 volumes, some containing several works, of the late-18th and early-19th centuries, English and foreign, on all subjects.


Ashmole, Elias, 1617-1692  Antiquary, founder of the Ashmolean Museum, to which he presented his collections in 1677. The Visitors of the Ashmolean offered all the MSS and printed books to the Bodleian in 1858, where they arrived in 1860. The Ashmole collection is in two sequences [MS.] Ashmole 1-1836, containing c. 1,100 printed books as well as MSS, and Ashmole A-H, consisting of 350 printed books. Ashmole 1549-1836 and Ashmole A-H are accessions to Ashmole's original collection from the libraries of John Aubrey (1626-97), Edward Lhuyd (1660-1709), and Martin Lister (1638-1712), and from the University chemical library founded in 1683. Most of Lister's books are in the Bodleian collection shelfmarked 'Lister' (q.v.). The printed books (almost 900 in number) fall into two main categories: (a) a collection of contemporary pamphlets, dealing in the main with English political and theological controversy, including Civil War tracts, poems, sermons, newspapers, and book catalogues, all collected by Ashmole between 1679 and 1690; (b) a library of astrology, astronomy, and kindred topics, including prognostications, ephemerides or astronomical calendars, and a set of almanacs for the years 1571-1690 which, in part duplicates, in part supplements, the more extensive collection of almanacs acquired by gift from Richard Rawlinson, extending from 1607-1747. c. 146 of Ashmole's volumes contain the signature of William Lilly (Merlinus Anglicus, 1602-81). Ashmole's books are bound, for the most part, in unornamented brown calf, bearing only Ashmole's arms in gilt.

  • Elias Ahmole on Book Owners Online
  • R. T. Gunther, 'The Ashmole printed books', BQR 6 (1930), pp. 193-5.
  • 'The Chemical Library of the University', Ibid, pp. 201-3.
  • 'The Library of John Aubrey, FRS', Ibid (1931), pp. 230-6.
  • R. W. Hunt, 'The cataloguing of Ashmolean collections of books and manuscripts', BLR 4(1952), pp. 161-70.
  • Craster, pp. 65-8.
  • Rogers, pp. 151-8.
  • B. F. Roberts, 'Edward Lhuyd's collection of printed books', BLR 10(1979), pp. 112-27.
  • M. Hunter [and others], Elias Ashmole 1617-1692...and his world, a tercentenary exhibition, 1983, Oxford, 1983, p. 21.
  • Index to the English almanacs in the Ashmole collection (with) Ashmole almanacs (handlist). (MS. Bodleian shelfmark R.6.220).


Auct. [Auctarium]  (A room formerly the Anatomy School, now the South West room of the Lower Reading Room) A shelfmark denoting c. 7,000 volumes (including early Bibles, first editions, and other 15th century editions of the classics, Aldines, and texts of classical authors annotated with scholia and marginalia) either removed from the older collections at the end of the 18th or the beginning of the 19th century, or added to the Library between then and 1940, and placed in the Auctarium. See also Bib. [Bible Collection]

Barlow, Thomas, 1607-1691; see Linc.


Bib. [Bible Collection]  Editions of the Bible, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Apocrypha, the Psalms, and the Book of Common Prayer, including pre-1850 editions, in all languages, acquired since 1883. Sections sub-divided by language and, in some cases, date. Estimated at over 7,000 volumes. See also Auct. [Auctarium]


Bibliotheca Hungarica  (Sacred and profane history, constitution, jurisprudence, literary history, geography, and topography from Hungary, Transylvania, Croatia, Dalmatia, and the other countries along the Danube)  Kirchen- und Profan-Geschichte, Verfassung, Jurisprudenz, Literarhistorie, Geographie, und Topographie von Ungarn, Siebenbürgen, Croatien, Dalmatien und den unteren Donauländern. [Bodleian shelfmark 2590 a section of a bookseller's catalogue.]

  • R. J. W. Evans, 'Hungarica in the Bodleian: a historical sketch', BLR 9(1978), pp. 333-45.
  • Macray, p. 353.
  • Craster, p. 76.


Birkbeck, W. J. (William John), 1859-1916  Theologian and liturgical scholar who worked for the union of the Anglican and Orthodox Churches. Bequeathed to Magdalen College, and deposited in the Bodleian in 1920, c. 300 historical and theological works, mostly of the 19th century in Slavonic languages.

  • Craster, p. 283.


Blackwell Collection More than 2,200 volumes, dating from the 15th to late 20th centuries, formerly owned by the Blackwell family. The collection was begun by Benjamin Henry Blackwell (1849-1924), and continued by his son, Sir Basil Blackwell (1889-1984), from whom it passed to his son, Julian (‘Toby’) in 1984. Julian gave the collection to the Bodleian in 2014. Its contents include three incunables; other early printed volumes, among which are a small number of Aldines; works of literature from private presses, some with fine bindings, and especially including poetry, a particular love of both Basil Blackwell and his father. The Bodleian also received more than 1,000 volumes, being file copies, including many children’s books published by B. H. Blackwell; and a large collection of volumes printed/published by the Shakespeare Head Press (which had been acquired by a company formed by Basil Blackwell in 1920, and which subsequently became a publisher’s imprint of Blackwell’s in the early 1940s). Sample shelfmark: Blackwell b.4.

  • Alan Coates, ‘Notable Accessions: the Blackwell Collection’, BLR 31, 1-2 (2018), 183-4.


Bliss, Philip, 1787-1857  Antiquary, Sub-librarian, Bodleian Library (1822-8), University Registrar (1824-53), Keeper of the University Archives (1826-57), Principal of St Mary Hall (1848-57). Bliss bequeathed to the Bodleian his copy of Wood's Athenae Oxonienses, with many MS additions, but preferred that his library should be sold at auction. At the sale in 1858 the Library bought 745 volumes of the 16th-19th century, including books printed at Oxford, books printed in London in the three years preceding the Great Fire, works relating to the plague, works relating to the Quakers, works illustrative of Oxford and Oxfordshire, editions of and commentaries on the Psalms, works of royal and noble authors, works of the 16th and 17th century poets, and works illustrative of the characters of men in their various occupations. Bliss entered on the fly-leaf the source of his copy, and frequently added bibliographical notes. The miscellaneous antiquarian collections and bibliographical memoranda which Bliss left behind in the University Archives were transferred to the Bodleian in 1933.

  • Catalogue of..the.. library formed by the late Rev Philip Bliss. .. which will be sold by auction... by Messrs S Leigh Sotheby and John Wilkinson 28 June (9 Aug) 1858. London, 1858.
  • Macray, pp. 367-8.
  • Craster, pp. 64, 71.
  • S. Gibson and C. J. Hindle, Philip Bliss (1787-1857) editor and bibliographer. Bliss's library', Oxford Biblio Soc Proc and Papers, 3(1933) 256-60.


Bowyer, George, 7th Bart., 1811-83  Lawyer, presented during the years 1838-43, 78 printed volumes and 4 MSS of the statutes of Italian cities, chiefly of the 17th and 18th centuries. He had, in 1838, published his dissertation on the statutes of the cities of Italy.

  • Macray, p. 338.
  • DNB
  • ‘Index of Provenances, Owners, Donors, and Other Names’ in Alan Coates et al., A catalogue of books printed in the fifteenth century now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Oxford, 2005), p.2845. 

  • Lists of donations in A catalogue of books purchased for the Bodleian Library... 1838, p. 40; 1839, p. 36, and 1842, p. 49.


Bradford, William (‘Bill’) 1923–2006 Bill Bradford began collecting boys’ papers as a schoolboy, and continued throughout his life. His collection, which was presented to the Library by his family in 2007, runs to some 120 shelves, and includes many serials not hitherto in the Bodleian’s collections.

  • C H[urst], ‘The Bradford collection of story papers and monthly libraries’, BLR 22 (2009), 78–9.


Broxbourne  A collection presented in 1978 through the Friends of the National Libraries by Mr John Ehrman (1920-) in memory of his father, Albert Ehrman (1890-1969), who made the collection. It contains over 4,000 items, and includes over 100 MSS, and of the printed books, 140 are incunabula (including many rare or unique single sheets); 104 are STC items; 664 were printed in the 16th century and 422 in the 17th century. The collection divides into three sections: (a) c. 2,000 examples of bindings from the 12th-20th centuries, and from many countries. There is an especially strong group of blind-stamped 16th century specimens, and examples of the work of some of the finest contemporary British and French binders. Described as one of the three great English 20th century collections of bookbindings by Mr H. M. Nixon who, in his Broxbourne Library: styles and designs of bookbindings from the twelfth to the twentieth century, London, 1956, describes a representative selection of the most notable examples from each century; (b) The remarkable collection of book sale catalogues and material for book trade history used for, and listed in, G. Pollard and A. Ehrman, The distribution of books by Catalogue to 1800, Roxburghe Club, 1965. 347 items are there described, and there are c. 50 additions. They include the catalogues of printers, publishers, booksellers, auctioneers, and libraries. Most of the countries of Europe are represented, and a wide range of book trade practices are illustrated; (c) A binding and printing history reference collection.

With indexes of provenances and of types of bindings by country and by binder.

The type specimens and related material, comprising books of typographical importance, excellence or curiosity, and works of reference, previously part of the Broxbourne Library, are now in Cambridge University Library.

  • 'The Broxbourne Library', BLR 10(1979), pp. 78-80. University of Oxford, Annual Report of the Curators of the Bodleian Library for 1977-78, Supplement no. 3 to the University Gazette, June 1979, pp. 41-2.


Broxbourne adds  A new shelfmark created in 2006 to accommodate new accessions of fine bindings.


BS. [Bibliotheca Seldeniana]  The second general collection in the history of the Library (after the division by the four faculties), started c. 1668 and added to up to c. 1840, and originally housed in Selden End. At first it was used for previously un-shelfmarked additions made during 1650-68, the folios being unclassified, the other sizes divided by the four faculty subdivisions (arts, jurisprudence, medicine, and theology). During the period 1789-1823, the subdivision by faculties was abandoned. From 1805-20, while BS. was used for the larger of the volumes in quarto, the shelfmark AS. (q.v.) was used for the smaller volumes in quarto. In the 1830s, there was a revival of the classified BS. sequence. The collection comprises over 16,000 volumes of the 16th-19th centuries.


Buchanan, T. R. (Thomas Ryburn), 1846-1911  Fellow of All Souls and Librarian, Codrington Library. His widow allowed the Bodleian and All Souls to make their selection from his library. The collection of c. 500 printed books, ranging in date from the 15th-20th centuries, received by the Bodleian in 1941, is notable for its specimens of fine printing and its fine bindings. The bindings are chiefly Scottish and European of the 16th-19th centuries, including many plain morocco bindings bearing the arms of J. A. de Thou, and books from the Seillière collection finely bound in red morocco by modern French binders.

  • Thomas Buchanan on Wikipedia
  • Craster, pp. 286-7.
  • S. Gibson, 'Bookbindings in the Buchanan collection', BLR 2(1941), pp. 6-12.
  • M. J. Sommerlad, Scottish 'wheel' and 'herring-bone' bindings in the Bodleian Library, Oxford Biblio Soc Occasional Publication no. 1, Oxford, 1967.
  • Fine bindings 1500-1700 from Oxford libraries, catalogue of an exhibition. Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1968.
  • Thomas Buchanan collection at the University of Edinburgh


Burton, Robert, 1577-1640  Student of Christ Church (1599), author of The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), bequeathed his books to the Bodleian, duplicates of books already owned were passed on to Christ Church. 581 volumes (nearly 900 titles) were selected for the Bodleian, including some theology, but also works by most of the great names of Elizabethan literature (including Shakespeare), pamphlets, jest-books, newsbooks, i.e. just those sort of books which Sir Thomas Bodley had rejected. Of the books selected, 556 were English, and many were literary works, including 48 books now listed as unique copies. The majority of the books (750 titles) are still in the library, chiefly in the classes shelfmarked 4o Art., Th., and Art.BS., but a number were disposed of as duplicates.

  • Robert Burton on Wikipedia
  • Robert Burton on Book Owners Online
  • Macray, pp. 90-2.
  • Philip, p. 33.
  • Sir W. Osler, 'The Library of Robert Burton', Oxford Biblio Soc Proc and Papers 1 (1926), pp. 182-90.
  • 'Two lists of Burton's books, ed. by S. Gibson and F. R. Needham', Ibid pp. 222-46. (Copy in the Bodleian annotated with Bodleian shelfmarks, shelfmark 2590 d.Oxf. la.34 = R.6.234).
  • The Bodleian Library in the seventeenth century: guide to an exhibition, Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1951, pp. 16, 41.
  • N. K. Kiessling, The Library of Robert Burton, Oxford Bibliographical Society Publications, new series, vol. 22. Oxford, 1983.
  • N. K. Kiessling, The legacy of Democritus Junior, Robert Burton. An exhibition to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the death of Robert Burton (1577-1640). Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1990.


Buxton, Edward John Mawby, 1912-1989  Fellow of New College, Oxford, Reader in English Literature, Oxford University, bequeathed to the Bodleian those books of his it would like to have, as well as his working papers, correspondence and diaries. The Library took complete his collection of his favourite authors (notably, Sir Philip Sidney, Samuel Daniel, Charles Cotton and P. B. Shelley) and selected other books not already in the Bodleian, mainly works of English literature, including a number of volumes and pamphlets of modern literature and Buxton's own copies of books written or edited by him.

  • C. Hurst, [John Buxton's library], BLR XIV, 1 (October 1991) 92-3.


Bywater, Ingram, 1840-1914  Fellow of Exeter College 1863, Sub-Librarian, Bodleian Library 1879, Regius Professor of Greek 1893-1908, bequeathed c. 4,000 volumes, listed in the privately printed Elenchus vetustiorum apud* * [I Bywater] hospitantium, 1911 and in an interleaved copy of acquisitions to his library from 1911 to his death. Bywater chose his books to illustrate the history of classical learning from Bessarion down to the immediate successors of Scaliger and Casaubon, and insisted on fine condition. The collection contains the names of the great, and many of the obscurer, European humanists of the 16th and early-17th centuries. Aristotle and his commentators are well represented. c. 50 books have MS marginalia by scholars, near 200 are autographed, and c. 50 bear the arms of De Thou on their bindings. Most of the books are pre-1650, including c. 150 incunabula (31 of them Greek), and over 1,100 books (459 of them Greek) were printed in the first half of the 16th century, a third of these by Paris presses. In addition the Library acquired some 64 volumes of MS material, including Bywater's correspondence with eminent European scholars.

  • Ingram Bywater on Wikipedia
  • Craster, pp. 281-2.
  • 'The Bywater Collection', BQR 1 (1915), 80-1.
  • W. W. Jackson, Ingram Bywater, the memoir of an Oxford Scholar, 1840-1914, Oxford, 1917.


Bywater adds  Miriam Robinette ('Robin') Tomkinson (1916-1986), a classicist and book collector, presented to the Bodleian in December 1984 a group of fine printed books, the majority editions of classical texts, some with interesting provenances and in fine bindings, and on her death the Library was able to select from her remaining books a further thirty-seven printed items, reflecting as well as her love for early printed classical texts, her affection for birds, her wide reading, and pride in her extensive and cultured ancestry (Ingram Bywater was her great-great-uncle by marriage).

  • G. Groom, [Miss M R Tomkinson's gift of printed books], BLR, XII, 2 (April 1986) 145-7.
  • 'Miriam Robinette ('Robin') Tomkinson (1916-1986)', BLR, XII, 4 (April 1987) 253-4.

Caps  A shelfmark used in the period 1860-83 for antiquarian accessions of folios and large quartos. 550 volumes of the 16th-19th centuries.


Carter, John Waynflete, 1905-1975  The collection purchased in 1951 from John Carter and added to from time to time, consists of over 350 volumes ranging in date from 1702 to the present day, and illustrates the history of publishers' binding during the 19th century. Most of the books are bound in cloth, though others are bound in silk, plush, wood and even metal, some of the gift-book type being elaborate and ornate.

Card catalogue under author, with descriptions of the bindings, an index of the binders' names (when known), and a selective subject index. Carter later presented the file of his rubbings and notes compiled in the preparation of his books Binding variants in English publishing 1820-1900 (1932) and More binding variants (1938).

  • 'The Carter collection of publishers' bindings', BLR 8 (1967), 5-6.


Cary, Arthur Joyce Lunel, 1888-1957  Novelist, Cary's library of over 2,000 printed books and MSS was presented to the Bodleian through Bodley's American Friends in 1957 by James Marshall Osborn (1906-76). The printed books comprise works by Cary, including articles, short stories, etc. in periodicals, translations, and proofs; works or items about Cary; books presented by their authors to Cary; books (some presented) annotated by Cary; the residue of Cary's library, e.g. books on Africa, India, etc.; works of English literatur,; works of foreign literature, works on art, works on history, etc. Osborn also presented Cary's literary papers. Books added or published after the date of the original collection are shelfmarked Cary adds.

  • D. G. Neill, 'The Joyce Cary collection at the Bodleian Library', Books no 321 (Jan-Feb 1959), pp. 7-11.


Castello, Simon J.  A director of Allied Provincial Securities, is donating his collection of the work of Arthur Rackham (1869-1939), one of the greatest English book illustrators, including signed, limited editions, some with original artwork.

  • G. Groom, [The Castello collection of Arthur Rackham]. BLR, XIV, 1 (October 1991) 91.


Catholic Apostolic Church  The Library purchased the collection in 1972 from Christ the King Church Library, Gordon Square, London. It consists of 205 bound volumes containing 1,031 items, all produced by and for members of the Catholic Apostolic Church. A breakaway sect from the Scottish Presbyterian Church, the Catholic Apostolic Church was founded in the mid-19th century and the last surviving member was still alive in 2002. The collection contains mainly pamphlets, sermons, and liturgies. It is a significant collection of Catholic Apostolic Church materials that contains many rare items not available in any other institution. It is an essential complement to the already electronically catalogued Catholic Apostolic Church Collection that was donated to the University of Birmingham Library by Hywel Berwyn Evans in 1989 and to the Plato E. Shaw Collection bequeathed to New College Library, University of Edinburgh, by Professor Plato E. Shaw in 1947.


Cheney Printers’ Archive. Cheney & Sons began printing in Banbury, Oxfordshire in 1767, and continued in business until 2001. The firm did print some books under their own imprint, but most of their work as jobbing printers. The significance of the collection lies in what it reveals about the breadth and depth of the work of a good provincial printer working near Oxford, and how this developed over time. Much of the archive consists of samples or file-copies of their output (from the 1840s through to the 1950s). There are also chapbooks and specimen books of jobbing printing from the 1840s and 1850s, and 1880 to 1920; and 45 broadsides. A further 9 broadsides and other miscellaneous printed items have been added subsequently.

  • C. R. Cheney, ‘Early Banbury chap-books and broadsides’, The Library, 4th ser. 17/1 (1936), 98–108.
  • C. R. Cheney, John Cheney and his descendants: printers in Banbury since 1767 (Banbury, [1936]).
  • C. H[urst]., ‘The archive of Cheney & Sons, printers of Banbury, Oxon.’, BLR 24 (2011), 118–20.
  • C. H[urst]., ‘Additional papers of Cheney & Sons, printers of Banbury’, BLR 26 (2013), 89–90.

An index of the collection, annotated with Bodleian shelfmarks, is on the open access shelves in the Mackerras Reading Room at shelfmark X.Cat.10/CHENEY. A .pdf copy is below.


Clarendon Press  A collection of c2,000 v consisting of (a) Books published by the Clarendon Press from 1720–-1892, arranged according to subject (theology, medicine, arts and trades, mathematics and physics, law, history, Greek prose, Greek verse, Greek commentaries, Latin prose, Latin verse, Latin commentaries, philology), shelfmarked Clar.Press l a.1 – 66 c.10; (b) 200 books of the 16th-19th cent chiefly texts of the classics and of the Fathers, and including Septuagint and Greek patristic texts from the library of Dr Robert Holmes (d.1805), deposited in the Bodleian by the Delegates of the University Press in 1885, and presented outright in 1922. Shelfmarked Clar.Press b.1 – e.123. The strength of the early 19th cent section lies in the classical texts with ms editorial annotations.

  • P Morgan, Oxford libraries outside the Bodleian, 2nd edn, Oxford, 1980, 206–8, esp. 208.

See also: Oxford University Press Collections.


Colefax, Sibyl, Lady, 1874–1950 Wife of Sir Arthur Colefax (1866–1936), society hostess, and co-founder, 1938, of the interior decoration firm of Colefax & Fowler. The collection was given by Mrs M. Colefax in 1989, following the death of her husband (Lady Colefax’s son). It consists of more than 300 v of works by noted literary and society figures, often inscribed by the authors.


Crynes, Nathaniel, 1685 or 6-1745  Fellow of St John's College and Superior Bedel of Arts (1716), bequeathed to the Bodleian all such books out of his own collections as the Library did not already possess. 968 volumes in octavo and smaller sizes, with a few quartos, dating from the 16th-18th centuries, many very rare, were kept by the Bodleian. The Crynes collection has a wide range of historical material which supplemented the Bodleian collections in a significant way: Crynes, in addition to much rare English work, collected particularly those 16th century octavo European editions which had been overlooked in favour of the larger folio volumes preferred by Bodley himself. The rest of his books went to St John's College, and some to Balliol College. In Library Records c. 1382 (‘Disposal of Duplicates 1727–1890), fols 1–4, is a list of Bodleian duplicates sold to Crynes in 1726/7, for which he paid £3. 15. 0.


Cundall Collection A collection of over 100 books published by Joseph Cundall (1818–1895), the writer, photographer, and publisher; presented by Miss Diana Cundall, the publisher’s great grand-daughter, and complementing copies of works by Joseph Cundall in the library’s legal deposit material, and in the Opie collection of children’s books. Cundall focused particularly on illustration, especially but not exclusively, of children’s books, and the collection contains many books from his early output in the 1840s. Cundall was also interested in photography, reflected in a number of books within the collection. The collection also contains an iconic item of ephemera, a proof copy of the first commercially produced and printed Christmas card (1843). Sample shelfmark: Cundall 129.

  • Alan Coates, ‘Notable Accessions: the Cundall Collection’, BLR 32, 1-2 (2019), 191-3.


Curzon of Kedleston, George Nathaniel Curzon, Marquess, 1859-1925  Foreign Secretary 1919-24, Chancellor of Oxford University 1907. A collection of c. 330 works on Napoleon bequeathed by Lord Curzon, originally brought together by A. M. Broadley, bought at the sale of his books in 1916 and added to by Lord Curzon. It relates in the main to Napoleon's captivity on St Helena, but also includes sets of The Life of Napoleon I by J. Holland Rose and Napoleon: the last phase by the Earl of Rosebery, extra-illustrated by A. M. Broadley, 1905, and of A. M. Broadley's Napoleon in caricature 1795-1821, 1911, extra-illustrated by A. Brewis, all three grangerized into 39 folio volumes, illustrated by the addition of thousands of portraits, views, contemporary caricatures, broadsides, autograph letters, and original drawings, covering the whole Revolutionary and Napoleonic period.

  • J. M. Thompson, Curzon collection: index to autographs and portraits, 1928. (Typescript, Bodleian shelfmark MS. Curzon d.3=R.6.85)
  • Craster, p. 284.
  • A catalogue of the.. .collection of Napoleonic books, autographs and engravings formed by the late A M Broadley... sold by auction by Messrs Hodgson & Co., 7-8 December, 1916.

[DELTA]  A collection of over 5,000 volumes of the 16th- 19th centuries, the various sections being used for both English and foreign books in quarto between 1824 and 1861, for folio volumes between 1840 and 1861, and for older books in folio and large quarto between 1861 and 1883.


Delegates’ Library see OUP Delegates Library


Denyer  A collection of 21 English 16th century Bibles including Coverdale, Cranmer, Tyndale and Grafton, and of 21 English theological works, nearly all printed before 1600. Bequeathed in 1825 by Elizabeth D. Denyer, daughter of John Denyer (d. 1806).


Dep. [Deposit] Category of material used to denote the small numbers of books placed on deposit in the Library.


Diss. [Dissertations]  A comprehensive collection of German, Dutch and Scandinavian academic dissertations of the 17th, 18th and early-19th century, including many subjects in Roman and German law, theology and history, bought in 1827, 1846, 1849 and 1854. These collections were systematically added to by donation from the universities of Germany, Scandinavia , Holland, Switzerland and France, at the rate of 3,000 p.a. by 1888.

  • Catalogus dissertationum academicarum quibus nuper aucta est Bibliotheca Bodleiana MD CCCXXXII. Oxonii, 1834. (Bodleian copy, shelfmark 2590, annotated with Bodleian shelfmarks.)
  • Macray, p. 317.


Dobell  450 volumes acquired in 1972 from Mrs Rosemary Dobell, being the collections of Bertram Dobell (1842-1914) bookseller and man of letters and his sons P. J. and E. A. Dobell, booksellers and publishers of Tunbridge Wells and London, largely works written or published by them, including proofs, trial copies, variant issues, etc., dating from 1885 up to the 1930s, sets of their catalogues, 1876-1916, copies of books presented to them up to 1957, and books with MS notes by them.

· T. D. Rogers. [The papers of Bertram Dobell], BLR, XI,4(May 1984) 244-5.


Don. [Donations]  Books presented to the Library from 1925-82, either through the Friends of the Bodleian or Bodley's American Friends or, less frequently, direct. Over 2,000 volumes of all periods and in all languages. From 1975, pre-1850 gifts through the Friends of the Library have been classified into Vet. (q.v.).


Douce, Francis, 1757-1834  Antiquary, Keeper of Manuscripts at the British Museum 1807-11. Bequeathed over 19,000 volumes of printed books of all periods, including 479 incunabula (largely romances, histories and liturgical books) and including 15 items printed by Caxton; block books and books printed on vellum; Bibles, Horae, Primers, Books of Common Prayer, Psalters; early-printed editions of Medieval romances, and editions of the popularized versions of the 16th and 17th centuries; editions of novels and tales, including editions of works of lighter French fiction, original and translated, of the 17th and 18th centuries, amorous and facetious tales and 'contes galantes'; original and early editions of 17th and 18th century English drama (foreign drama is less well represented); a collection of poems, songs and ballads, including a remarkable collection of broadside ballads of the second half of the 17th, of the 18th and early 19th centuries; chapbooks and children's books of the 18th and early 19th centuries; almanacs and prognostications covering the period 1674-1771 (supplementing the Rawlinson and Ashmole collections), with some from earlier years; fragments of works by early English printers; volumes especially noteworthy as examples of the engraver's art; sale catalogues, with notes of his purchases and the prices he paid; books in fine bindings, especially French bindings; bindings (loose covers, mainly 16th century blind-stamped and gold-tooled).

Douce's collection is strong in history, biography, antiquities, manners, customs, the fine arts, travel, archaeology, witchcraft, the 'Dance of Death', and in foreign books.

In addition to the printed books, Douce's bequest included some 420 manuscripts (of which two thirds are Medieval or 16th century, bought chiefly for their illumination, including Books of Hours, French romances and early English literature), woodblocks, prints, drawings, coins, and playing cards. Most of the prints, the drawings, and the coins are now in the Ashmolean Museum; only those prints belonging to, or closely connected with books as distinct from pure art, were retained in the Bodleian.

The Library now also preserves Douce's correspondence and a series of notebooks kept by him for most of the later half of his collecting life.

The shelfmark Douce Adds. was in use c. 1834-80, largely for retrospective accessions of children's books, chapbooks and similar ephemeral literature, including some specimens of early printing, and some material from Douce's own collections, including Douce's albums of early printed initials, devices, and title-pages, many removed from his own books. There is a total of 333 volumes representing a larger number of bibliographical items of the 18th and 19th centuries.

  • Francis Douce on wikipedia
  • Catalogue of the printed books and manuscripts bequeathed by Francis Douce, Esq to the Bodleian Library. Oxford, 1840. (Bodleian copies shelfmarked 2590 b.Oxf.1.4. =R. 6.92 and 2590 b.Oxf.1.3=X.1.28 are annotated in ms with the shelfmarks of the printed books.)
  • J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps. A hand-list of the early English literature preserved in the Douce collection in the Bodleian Library, selected from the printed catalogue of that collection. 1860.
  • A. C. Madan, A catalogue of the collection of engravings &c in portfolios bequeathed by Francis Douce in 1835 and not transferred to the Ashmolean Museum as of special artistic value. (In MS. Bodleian shelfmark R.6.260).
  • G. R. Scott, A catalogue of the collection of engravings in portfolios bequeathed by Francis Douce in 1835 and received back from the Ashmolean Museum, in which they had been deposited for about 45 years, in 1915. (In MS. Bodleian shelfmark R.6.260.)
  • Handlist of the octavo English almanacks in the Douce collection with index. (In MS. Bodleian shelfmark R.6.221.)
  • The Douce Ballads are catalogued and displayed in the Bodleian Ballads Project,
  • Macray, pp. 326-9.
  • Craster, pp. 15-16.
  • 'Francis Douce 1757-1834', BQR 7 (1934), 359-84.
  • 'Children's games: an exhibition [of engravings from the Douce collection]', BLR 1 (1940), 182-7.
  • A. N. L. Munby, Connoisseurs and Medieval Miniatures, 1750-1850, Oxford, 1972, pp. 35-56
  • The Douce legacy. An exhibition to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the bequest of Francis Douce (1757-1834). Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1984
  • Giles Barber, 'Francis Douce and popular French literature', BLR, XIV, 5 (October 1993) 397-428.
  • Giles Barber, 'From Canaletto to the ostrich : Parisian popular entertainments in 1755', BLR, XII, 6 (April 1988) 453-470.
  • Joby Topper, ‘Saved from “oblivion”: the organization and management of the Douce collection at the Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford, 1834–1934’, Library History, 20/3 (2004), 183–206.


Dummett, Michael, Sir, 1925–2011 Collection of c.300 books, from the 20th century to 2010, on card games; came to the Bodleian in 2012 by the bequest of Sir Michael Dummett, philosopher and historian of card games (Wykeham Professor of Logic, University of Oxford (1979–92), Fellow of All Souls).


Dunn Approximately 500 books from the collection of (Stanley) Gerald Dunn (1879-1964), formerly of Jesus College, Oxford, the University of Allahabad, and University of Witwatersrand. For further information on Dunn see his Who's Who entry, and also the catalogue entry for his archive in the Bodleian.

The western antiquarian books were given shelfmarks in Vet. , whilst the remaining books were shelfmarked in the appropriate Nicholson shelfmarks then in use. Oriental material was given shelfmarks in that section's classification.

A card catalogue of the Dunn books was compiled, apparently by B.P. Robinson in 1965-7 (but it lacks any confirmation of this, or an introductory index card about the donor and donation). The card catalogue is now kept at Library Records, RC 2014/355.


Dunston Collection  In 1981 Miss Emma Frederica Isabella Dunston, of Burltons, Donhead St Mary, Wiltshire, the last surviving member of an extraordinary family of book collectors, botanists, mycologists and photographers, bequeathed her books to the University of Oxford, which had been alma mater to her father and brothers. c. 8,000 books. Main categories consist of: early books and classics; English literature - over half the collection - comprising works of the mainstream English poets, dramatists, and novelists of the late 17th to the early 20th centuries, including special collections of several writers - Browning, Butler, Byron, Pope, Scott (nearly 1,000 volumes), Tennyson, and over 300 children's books, mostly from the first half of the 19th century; manuscripts and printed books by William Roscoe (1753-1831); and natural history, mainly botany. Includes books in original condition, association copies, and ephemera. The originator of the collection was F. W. Dunston (1850-1915).

  • Clive Hurst, 'The Dunston collection', BLR, vol. XII, 3 (October 1986) 177-204.
  • Veronica Hurst, 'Background to a collection: the Dunston family', BLR, vol. XII, 3 (October 1986) 205-232.

Eckert, Robert Paul, Judge, d. 1966  Biographer and bibliographer of the Oxford poet Philip Edward Thomas (1878-1917), bequeathed 190 works previously owned by Thomas or written by or about Thomas.

  • Edward Thomas, 1878-1917, an exhibition, Oxford 1968.
  • 'Edward Thomas exhibition', BLR 8(1969), 120-1.


Emmerson, John McLaren, 1938-2014 Emmerson completed an Oxford DPhil. in Physics and was a Junior Fellow at New College, before returning to Australia to retrain as a barrister. He bequeathed the “travelling library” of Charles I to the Bodleian to mark the part played by the University and City in the English Civil War, and in recollection of enjoyable visits to the library. The sixty small-format books, in 18°, 24°, and 32°, and measuring between 126 x 62 mm and 72 x 46 mm, were printed over a period of forty years, in Leiden, Venice, Heidelberg, Geneva, Douai, Antwerp, Paris, and Bologna, many by the Plantin Press, and include classical history and literature, contemporary poetry, and theology. The books are uniformly bound in 17th-century English red goatskin, tooled in gold with floral sprays on the spine, and currently housed in two modern red leather boxes by Sangorsky & Sutcliffe. They were presented to Charles probably between 1609 and 1612, and he signed four of them “Charles P”. An almost identical set was given to his brother Henry, and survives in part at the British Library. Emmerson purchased Charles’s set from Bernard Quaritch, after it was put to auction at Sotheby’s on 29 March 1971 by the Christie-Miller family; nothing of its earlier provenance is currently known. 

  • John Emmerson on Wikipedia
  • John Emmerson, 'The Travelling Library of Charles I', Bulletin (Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand), Volume 7 Issue 3 (1983), pp. 95-107.
  • Howard Nixon & William A. Jackson, ‘English seventeenth-century travelling libraries’, Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 7 (1979), pp. 294-321.

Facs. [Facsimiles]  Over 400 'one-off' photographic reproductions of works published up to 1850, but mainly early printed books. (Published facsimiles are now classified as contemporary books according to the current classification.)


Ferguson, F. S. (Frederic Sutherland), 1878-1967  Bibliographer, and Director of Bernard Quaritch Ltd. A collection of 220 Scottish books, mainly of the 17th century, some of the 16th century, bequeathed in 1967. The Bodleian was given second choice after the National Library of Scotland.


Firth, C. H. (Charles Harding), 1857-1936  Fellow of All Souls (1902), Regius Professor of Modern History (1904), the editor of Clarendon's History. Part of his library, donated by his widow. The 380 volumes of printed material include 24 volumes of printed portraits and caricatures illustrative of English history from c. 1603-c. 1830, the main series arranged chronologically; c. 20 volumes of broadside poems and ballads of the second half of the 17th, the 18th, and early 19th centuries, largely arranged by subject, including those on political, naval and military topics (Bodley also has Firth's MS and typewritten transcripts and notes); 4 volumes of proclamations and other broadsides of the 17th and 18th centuries; c. 100 volumes of miscellaneous literature, including chap-books, song garlands, and other popular literature of the 18th and early 19th centuries; poetical pamphlets of the second half of the 17th and the 18th centuries; 84 volumes of political tracts, mostly of the latter half of the 17th century; mid-17th century newspapers and newsbooks. The remainder of Firth's collections are at Worcester College, Oxford, and the University of Sheffield.

  • Craster, pp. 279-80, 314.
  • 'Lady Firth's donation', BQR 8(1936), 208-9.


Forster, Harold Bagley, 1913-1985  A collection of the works of Edward Young (1683-1765), both in English and in translation, comprising some 40 editions of collected works and some 200 editions of single works, including some 80 English editions and some 40 translations of The complaint, or Night thoughts on life, death and immortality. Purchased from the collector in his own lifetime, but not received until 1985.

  • H. B. Forster. 'Edward Young in translation', (Some uncollected authors, 45), Book Collector, XIX, 4 (Winter 1970) 481-500; XX, 1 (Spring 1971) 47-67; XX, 2 (Summer 1971) 202-224.


Foxon, David, 1923–2001 Bibliographical scholar, Reader in Textual Criticism, University of Oxford 1968–82, and Fellow of Wadham College. The collection consists of photocopies and notes used for English verse 1701–1750.

  • J. McLaverty, ‘David Foxon, humanist bibliographer’, Studies in Bibliography, 54 (2001), 81–113.

Gibson, Strickland, 1877-1958  Keeper of Printed Books, Bodleian Library (1942). A collection of over 400 items presented by him (and added to since then) to provide illustrative material for the study of every stage of the process of making a printed book for use in his course on bibliography. Though chiefly intended for the study of English books printed on a hand-press, it contains some examples of the work of a number of European printers before 1500, with a few examples of the work of modern presses, and a small collection on typography. Included are specimens of printer's copy, of proof sheets, of methods of imposition, of cancels, etc., and samples of all kinds of wrappers and bindings. More than half of the printed volumes consist of Gibson's own collection of bindings. There are few rare books, but some volumes are of interest for their inscriptions or annotations, or because of their provenance.

Alphabetical subject index on cards.

  • 'The Gibson donation', BLR 4(1953), p. 179.
  • H. J. Davis, 'The Strickland Gibson collection', BLR 6, 5(1961), pp. 645-54.


Gilliat, E. G. V., Mrs  (A cousin of the Sitwells) 55 volumes, being works of the Sitwells, chiefly Edith, but also Osbert and Sacheverell, mainly presentation copies.


Gladstone, W. E. (William Ewart), 1809-1898  Statesman and author. 256 pamphlets on Homeric subjects, mainly 19th cent from his library, presented in 1923 by Henry N Gladstone. The rest of his library is at St Deiniol's, Hawarden (qv).

  • Craster, p. 281.


Godwyn, Charles, Reverend, 1701-1770  Fellow of Balliol. The collection he bequeathed consists chiefly of works in English and general history, civil and ecclesiastical, published in the 18th century, and includes the later Benedictine editions of the Fathers. The books, c. 1,600 in number, are shelfmarked Godw, and the tracts or pamphlets, mainly theological and literary, G. Pamph. [Godwyn pamphlets]. Include many important English works which had not reached the Library under the terms of the Copyright Act. To the series G.Pamph. the Bodleian has added: (a) c. 300 tracts in 41 volumes (G. Pamph. 276-316) relating to American affairs and the War of Independence, a collection formed by the Rev Jonathan Boucher and bought by the Bodleian in 1836; (b) A series of pamphlets in 75 volumes (G.Pamph. 327-402), chiefly relating to Irish history and to literary matters, from the library of Edmund Malone and bought by the Bodleian in 1838. Many volumes uniformly bound in half calf, with 'E M' in an interleaved monogram on the spine; (c) Pamphlets mainly of the 17th-19th centuries on all subjects, making a total of over 2,900 volumes, and c. 38,000 separate works.


Gough, Richard, 1735-1809  Antiquary, bibliographer, topographer, Director of the Society of Antiquaries (1771-97), bequeathed to the Bodleian upwards of 3,700 volumes, many annotated by him and with printed insertions, comprising: (a) all his topographical collections of maps, topographical prints, drawings, etc. arranged under the names of the counties of the British Isles (shelfmarked Gough maps 1-260) and over 2,500 printed books arranged under the headings of General topography, Ecclesiastical topography, Natural history, and the counties of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. They are mostly 18th century, but include some of the 16th, 17th, and early 19th centuries. Included are his interleaved copies of his British Topography (the 1780 edition, comprising his collections for a third edition), of his Sepulchral monuments of Great Britain (1786-99), and of his edition of Camden's Britannia (1789). c. 250 book prospectuses printed pre-1801, many for antiquarian and topographical works, are to be found, some pasted into the volumes to which they relate, some in his working notes and manuscript collections, many in his collection for a third edition of his British topography; (b) 227 printed volumes connected with Anglo-Saxon literature and that of the Scandinavian races generally, mainly of the 18th century; (c) Over 200 printed service books of the English church before the Reformation, (many of Sarum or York use) including Missals, Breviaries, Manuals, Hours, Graduals, Psalters, Processionals, Hymns, Primers, and a few manuscripts, chiefly Horae; (d) 16 large folio volumes of coloured drawings of monuments in the Churches of France, (detached from a large collection of drawings of royal and other monuments and tombs made by Francis Roger de Gaignières); (e) 400 copper plates, used mainly for his Sepulchral monuments of Great Britain; (f) MSS, including much unpublished topographical material by Gough himself, and his diary for 1747-51 and 1755-73.

Gough's books included many volumes from the libraries of Ducarel, Lort, Blomefield, Peter Le Neve, Hutchins, West, and others. The miscellaneous part of his library was sold by public auction in 1810.

  • [B Bandinel], A catalogue of the books, relating to British topography and Saxon and northern literature, bequeathed to the Bodleian Library in the year MDCCCIX by Richard Gough, Oxford, 1814.
  • Summary list of Gough prints and drawings (ie Gough maps)... Miscellaneous prints in certain volumes in Gough General topography and Gough maps (in MS.Bodleian shelfmark R.6.262).
  • Macray, pp. 285-90.
  • Craster, p. 79.
  • Sir George Fordham, 'Richard Gough, an address, 5 August 1926', BQR 5(1926), pp. 69-71.
  • R. P. Doig, 'A bibliographical study of Gough's British topography (Printed from Edinburgh Bib Soc Trans iv, 1963). Edinburgh, 1963.
  • J. P. Feather, Book prospectuses before 1801 in the Gough collection, Bodleian Library, Oxford, a catalogue with microfiches. Oxford, Oxford Microform Pub, 1980.

Note: The shelfmark G.A. [Gough Additions] was used from 1860 to 1988 for current and antiquarian accessions of works on British topography, rivers, roads, and railways.


Gregor, Douglas Bartlett, 1909–1995 Scholar, linguist, and schoolmaster. His collection of c.800 volumes on Esperanto was donated to the Bodleian in 1996/7 by his widow, Graziella.

Hammond, Robert D. A collection of 245 books in many languages donated by Robert D. Hammond in 2011, consisting mainly of copies of editions of or works about Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (1859–1932). Also includes material about Grahame, and objects.


Hanson, Thomas William  Father of Laurence William Hanson, Keeper of Printed Books Bodleian Library, 1948-66, collected material relating to the seven members of the Edwards family, booksellers, bookbinders, and collectors of Halifax and London, including William (1723-1808), James (1756-1816), Richard (1768-1827), and Thomas (1762-1834). Their specialities were a process for rendering scraped vellum transparent and painting or drawing designs on the underside, the Etruscan style of decorating calf, and fore-edge painting. The collection was purchased by the Bodleian in 1966, after a subscription by the Friends of the Bodleian, in memory of L. W. Hanson. It consists of primary material (their publications, catalogues, bindings, fore-edge paintings) and of secondary material.

  • T. W. Hanson, 'Edwards of Halifax, a family of booksellers, collectors and bookbinders', Papers, Reports etc read before the Halifax Antiq Soc, 1912, pp. 141-200.
  • T. W. Hanson, 'Edwards of Halifax, bookbinders', Book Handbook 1 (1947/51) 329-338.


Harding, Walter Newton Henry, 1883-1973  Born in London and retained British nationality, but lived in Chicago and pursued a career as a music-hall pianist and cinema organist. Songbooks were the central theme of his collecting, including music and ballad operas, but it extended into the fields of English and French poetry, poetical miscellanies, and English drama. His collections were bequeathed to the Bodleian, where they arrived in 1975. They include: (a) Music, (c. l00,000 items) in seven main categories: English secular songs (including folksong and ballads) from 1650, English opera (including libretti), French songs from 1700, French opera libretti c. 1680-1800, French opera full scores c. 1680-1820, French, German and Italian opera vocal scores c. 1800-1850, American songs (70-80,000) from c. 1800; (b) Chapbooks in verse and prose, mainly English, but some French, German, and Italian, English songsters, garlands or collections of songs, Cheap Repository Tracts, children's chapbooks, juvenile drama, etc., c. 8,000 volumes of the 17th-19th centuries, including many provincial imprints; (c) English songbooks and poetry, including the works of minor poets, poetical miscellanies, anthologies, and collections of poetry 17th-19th centuries (c. 4,000 volumes). Harding bought songbooks etc. from the collections of W. W. Robinson of Oxford, J. W. Ebsworth (some presented to him by William C. Chappell), W. A. Barrett, Thorn-Drury, and Sir John Stainer (the most extensive collection of such material formed in England, bought en bloc in 1932); (d) English plays (many, but not all, containing songs), 17th-19th centuries, one-tenth estimated to be pre-1700. Estimated over 3,000 volumes; (e) English jestbooks, 18th and 19th centuries (c. 300 volumes); (f) French songbooks, 18th and 19th centuries (c. 2,000 volumes), includes the Henri Bachimont collection of 800 volumes (1790-1880), bought in 1927. A representative collection from 1700 onwards. There are also French chapbooks, jestbooks and plays; (g) Transcripts of songs and ballads in other collections (e.g. Madden Collection, Cambridge University Library; Samuel Pepys Collection, Pepysian Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge; and Narcissus Luttrell Collection, British Library); (h) Street ballads and broadsides (c. 15,000), many 18th and 19th centuries, include the song type and lamplighter and Newsmen's poems, but also murder sheets, election sheets, etc.; (i) American and English comic valentines; (j) Miscellaneous literature, periodicals, African travel; (k) American book auction catalogues. Indexes: First-line analytical index to English song-books (both with and without music) c. 1600-1850.

  • Walter Harding on Wikipedia
  • Chapbooks: catalogued on SOLO.
  • Broadside ballads: see the Bodleian Ballads Project,
  • Author or title index to English poetry: on cards.
  • Title and author index to English plays: on cards.
  • Several typescript lists compiled at various dates.
  • W. N. H. Harding, 'British song books and kindred subjects' (Contemporary collectors, 33), Book Collector XI (1962), pp. 448-59.
  • Sir John Stainer, Catalogue of English song books, forming a portion of the library of Sir John Stainer, with appendices of foreign song books, collections of carols, books on bells. London, 1891.
  • C. L. Day and E. B. Murrie, English song books 1651-1702, a bibliography. London. Bib Soc, 1940. Indicating locations in the Harding collection.
  • 'Miscellanies, anthologies and collections of poetry: Poetical miscellanies, song books and verse collections of multiple authorship', New Cambridge Bib of English Literature, vol. 2: 1660-1800, 1971, col. 327-430; cites Harding and Stainer copies when not found in the British Library or the Bodleian and not recorded in Wing's Short title catalogue 1641-1700, Case's Bibliography of English poetical miscellanies 1521-1750, or Day and Murrie's English song books 1651-1702.
  • D. F. Foxon, English verse 1701-1750, 2 volumes, London, Cambridge University Press, 1975. (With locations in the Harding collection.)
  • D. Hunter, 'The publication and dating of an early 18th century English songbook', BLR, XI,4(1984) 231-40.
  • M. L. Turner, ‘Who was Walter Harding? Some preliminary notes on his English antecedents, part one’, BLR 15 (1996), 432–54.
  • A. Williams, ‘Celebrating musical legacy ragtime to riches: the remarkable story of Walter Harding’s book and music collection’, BLR 25 (2012), 239–47.
  • M. Burden, ‘My encounter with Walter Harding’, BLR 25 (2012), 248–54.
  • Donald W. Krummel, ‘Walter Harding, Chicago’s greatest bibliomaniac’, Caxtonian, 25/12 (2017), 1–2.
  • Abigail Williams, ‘How the BBC told the Harding story’, Caxtonian, 25/12 (2017), 3–5.

See also Thorn-Drury, George

History  A collection of c. 500 folios and large quartos on historical and geographical subjects received among the new books between 1861 and 1883.


Hobson, A.R.A., 1921-2014 A collection of some 1,300 printed monographs, and 900 pamphlets, off-prints, and journal parts, forming the bequest of the late A. R. A. (Anthony) Hobson, the distinguished scholar of bookbindings, especially of the Renaissance period; the collection was received by the Bodleian in 2015. This archive of working papers (at least 80 autograph notebooks, 50 boxes and file-folders of scholarly correspondence), and the accompanying ‘reference library’ of works on the history and study of bookbinding, binding decoration, gold tooling, binders and bookbinding patrons was formed by G. D. (Geoffrey Dudley) Hobson (1882–1949), himself an expert in the history of bookbinding, and part-owner of Sotheby’s, and was continued by his son A. R. A. (Anthony Robert Alwyn) Hobson until his death in 2014. Included are Anthony Hobson’s own papers on the history of bookbinding, consisting of notes, scholarly correspondence, photographs and binding rubbings, often heavily-annotated, cross-referenced, and extra-illustrated volumes (with clippings from other publications relating to the text in the books, as well as handwritten notes; in particular, there are a number of extra-illustrated and annotated Sotheby’s catalogues for particular sales handled by the company); and, in addition, there is similar material which had belonged to his father. The ‘reference library’ brings together standard reference works, and places them alongside ephemeral pieces almost impossible to locate easily elsewhere. A. R. A. Hobson’s work marked a new approach to the history of bookbinding, by integrating the detailed study and identification of binders and workshops with the wider study of artistic patronage and humanistic interest, particularly during the Renaissance, and this approach is reflected in the contents of the collection. Sample shelfmark: Hobson d.276.

  • Bookbindings and other Bibliophily: Essays in Honour of Anthony Hobson, ed. Dennis E. Rhodes (Verona, 1994), esp. the appreciation by Nicolas Barker on pp. 13-20.
  • ‘Hobson, Anthony Robert Alwyn (1921–2014), auctioneer and historian of books and bookbinding’, ODNB [article by Nicolas Barker]


Hogan, John A., d. 1993  Over 1,000 items collected and donated by John Hogan, and by or about Edgar Wallace (1875-1932), a major popular writer, many of whose stories and novels were published in Britain and the U.S. in magazines or cheap editions not acquired by legal deposit. Includes every procurable edition of everything (fiction and non-fiction) which Wallace wrote; collected works; periodicals and newspapers containing short stories and articles by or about Wallace; books containing references to Wallace; newspaper cuttings; typescripts of short stories; photocopies of stories and articles from newspapers and periodicals, copies of which it was not possible to obtain in their original form.

  • S. Gillam, [The Edgar Wallace collection], BLR, XV, 3 (October 1995) 214-5.


Holkham Collection  Purchased in 1953 from the family library of the Earl of Leicester at Holkham Hall, Norfolk, the Bodleian's Holkham collection consists of more than 800 works, broadly representative of the Holkham Library as a whole, including an element of the law library of the early generations of the family, books belonging to Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634), English literature and plays gathered by the 18th century members of the family, classical and other incunabula, and English and Italian literature collected by Thomas William Coke, first Earl of Leicester (1752-1842). It divides into four main categories: 35 incunabula, many very rare, including editions of the Classics; 33 books printed in the United Kingdom up to 1640 (STC), including 5 in Italian and 3 English Bibles; 30 uniformly bound volumes in quarto, the collection of English Restoration plays put together by Edward Coke and his wife, Cary, the parents of the First Earl, consisting of 317 items, 305 of them plays, all but 15 of them printed between 1663 and 1700, the rest not later than 1705; c. 500 Italian works, printed pre-1601, in the main from two sources: (i) more than 150 from the library of Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634), and of these two-thirds are books owned by Sir Christopher Hatton (1540-91), and (ii) the more numerous books bought by the Third Earl. The Italian portion of the collection contains few imprints pre-1525, and few exceptional rarities. It is broadly representative of the Italian books being printed throughout the major portion of that country, when Italy's cultural pre-eminence was still unrivalled, and includes works, original or translated in the fields of theology, philosophy, law, politics, history, travel, biography, antiquities, medicine, agriculture, music, painting, and architecture, as well as poetry, drama, letters, dialogues, and literary criticism. Bindings on the Holkham collection books are representative of the library and its various owners, e.g. Elizabethan bindings are richly represented among the Hatton books, the splendour of 18th century bindings is shown on the First Earl's books.


Hope, F. W. (Frederick William), 1797-1862  Presented in 1862 to the Bodleian a collection of newspapers and periodical essays collected by his father, John Thomas Hope. They number 1,300 items and c. 760 works, and date from the 17th-19th centuries, the majority being 18th century.

  • · J. H. Burn, Catalogue of a collection of eariy newspapers and essayists, formed by the late John Thomas Hope, Esq., and with [omissions and additions] presented to the Bodleian Library by Frederick William Hope. Oxford, 1865. The catalogue presents a chronological arrangement from 1640-1840, with some undated volumes. [Bodleian copy shelfmarked 2590 annotated with Bodleian shelfmarks.]
  • · Craster, p. 77

Imprint Society  Over 50 publications of the Imprint Society, Barre, Mass, from 1969. Bought from the funds of Bodley's American Friends.


Inc. [Incunabula]  c. 530 15th century volumes acquired since 1937. Shelved by size, place, and date of publication.

  • A. Coates, ‘The Bodleian Library and its incunabula’, BLR 18 (2005), 608–43, esp. 634–5


Inc. adds. Shelfmark for incunables acquired or catalogued after 2010.


Isaacson, Philip, 1924-2013 A collection of 64 works (forming the main part of the collection of Philip Isaacson, and acquired by the Bodleian in 2017) from Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna and Eremite Presses. Isaacson, a lawyer, art critic and collector, writer and newspaper columnist, who was a friend of the American sculptor, print maker and publisher Leonard Baskin (1922–2000). Isaacson collected Baskin's works from the Gehenna Press, in addition to privately commissioning printed ephemera from the press. The Bodleian’s collections also contain a small amount of ephemeral material, including catalogues of Baskin/Gehenna Press exhibitions (for which see; a further batch of ephemera is now stored with the Bodleian's John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera. The Bodleian holds the archive of the Gehenna Press (, and other Gehenna-related material. Sample shelfmark: Isaacson d.2.

Jacobs, Friedrich Christian W., 1764-1847  Classical scholar, editor of the Anthologia Graeca. At the sale of his library in 1849, the Bodleian bought 300 foreign dissertations on classical subjects, dating from the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries.

  • · A catalogue of the books purchased for the Bodleian Library.. . during the year ending November 8, 1849: pp. 57-68 'Books purchased from the library of Professor Jacobs, editor of the Anthologia Graeca' &c.


Jessel, Frederic Henry, d. 1934  Author of A bibliography of works in English on playing cards and gaming... (1905), bequeathed, in 1934, to the Bodleian c. 3,400 volumes relating to the history and use of playing cards, card games, games of chance, gaming at casinos, fortune-telling by cards, and card-tricks. They include satires and tracts on the social aspects of gaming; novels, poems, and plays in which card-playing figures; Acts of Parliament directed towards the control of gaming and lotteries, extracts from periodicals, newspaper cuttings, packs of cards, etc. They range in date from the 16th-20th centuries. There are some practically complete sets of editions of some of the most important works on the subject, both English and foreign. The collection also includes a few packs of cards.

  • 'The Jessel bequest', BQR 7(1934), p. 520.
  • 'The Jessel collection', BLR 1 (1939), pp. 116-18.
  • Craster, p. 278.


Johnson, John de Monins, 1882-1956  Printer to the University of Oxford, 1925-46. A collection of perhaps a million items in total, mainly of printed ephemera, or non-book printed materials, but including books and pamphlets, chiefly English, formed by John Johnson at the University Press, where it was known as the Constance Meade Collection, and transferred to the Bodleian Library in 1968, where it is known as the John Johnson Collection. Johnson made 1939 the terminus ad quem of the collection. He restricted his collecting of post-1939 material, but he continued to collect current material in some areas until his death in 1955, and later material has been added since the collection came to the Bodleian. The material now ranges from 1508 to the present day.

Constance Meade, the great-granddaughter of Bishop Percy of Dromore, donated to Johnson's collection in 1930 the printed ephemera which had passed into the Meade family with the residue of Bishop Percy's books and papers. During the period when the Bodleian's attitude to ephemera was antipathetic, Strickland Gibson steered material eliminated from the library into Johnson's collection (including almanacs, booksellers' and publishers' lists, and books for young children). Johnson also acquired material originally collected by W. D. Macray (1826-1916), Robert Proctor (1868-1903), and E. W. B. Nicholson (1849-1912). Other specialized sections of the collections include: the Edward Heron-Allen (1861-1943) collection of watchpapers; the E. Maude Hayter collection of valentines and Christmas cards, in addition to Andrew White Tuer's collection; the Sir John Evans (1823-1908) collection of banknotes and paper money; the M. L. Horn (1889-1953) collection of cigarette cards; the F. A. Bellamy and H. F. N. Jourdain collection of postage stamps, postal stationery and material relating to the Post Office. The printed books in the collection are estimated to number over 10,000 volumes, including almanacs, auction catalogues, novels, periodicals, plays, and sermons, dating from the 17th-20th centuries, popular and ephemeral volumes, many not received by legal deposit.

A collection of writing masters copy books (shelfmarked Johnson penmen 1-386), both English and foreign (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the US being the other countries represented), dating from the 16th-20th cent, was built up for Johnson by Graham Pollard. The ephemera collection also includes single sheets by, or relating to, writing masters, chiefly English of the 18th cent, and a small collection of engraved writing blanks, English of the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Guard books contain c. 440 book prospectuses covering the period c. 1680-1800; 17th and 18th century single sheet proclamations; and single sheet items of the periods covered by STC and Wing.

The collection of ephemera is largely arranged by subject, in some cases by form of material, and the following are some of the sections: material on the history of book production and the book trade, including 18th century catalogues of the sales of copies or shares in copies, i.e. booksellers trade sale catalogues, thought to have been those belonging to the firm of Rivington; booksale and booksellers' catalogues; catalogues and labels of circulating and subscription libraries of the 18th and 19th centuries; bookplates (one of the largest institutional collections); material relating to private presses, including the Chiswick Press; early news-books and newspapers; prospectuses; playbills and programmes for popular entertainments; broadsides, including ballads; passports; chapbooks and songbooks; Oxford material, including Oxford University societies; Christmas cards; material on authors such as Dickens; on elections; taxation; religion; education; the armed forces; trade and finance; agriculture; food and drink; dress; transport; games and pastimes; sport, etc.

A typed subject guide to the collection is available, together with a printed list of main subject headings (some 700 in number). There are in addition detailed indexes to various parts of the collection.

  • [M. L. Turner], The John Johnson collection, catalogue of an exhibition, Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1971.
  • J. P. Feather, Book prospectuses before 1801 in the John Johnson collection, a catalogue with microfiches, Oxford Microform Publ for the Bodleian Library, 1976.
  • J. H. Wiener, A descriptive finding list of unstamped British periodicals 1830-1836, London Bibl Soc 1970. [With locations in the John Johnson collection.]
  • Dickens playbills in the Bodleian Library, ed. by C. Hurst. Oxford Microform Publ, 1981. [9 fiches with letterpress booklet.]
  • The Warwick guide to labour periodicals, 1790-1970: a checklist, arranged and compiled by R. Harrison [and others]. Hassocks, Harvester Press, 1977. With locations in the Bodleian and the John Johnson collection.
  • The 'Toyota (digitised imaging) project' in the John Johnson collection of printed ephemera, BLR, XV,2 (April 1995) 74-5.
  • J. A. Lambert, A Nation of Shopkeepers (exhibition catalogue), Oxford, 2001.
  • J. A. Lambert, The Art of Advertising (exhibition catalogue), Oxford, 2020.


Juel-Jensen, Bent, 1922–2006 Former Medical Officer to the University of Oxford, Fellow of St Cross College, and Curator of the Bodleian Library. Presented or bequeathed Drayton, Chatwin, J V Jensen, Sidney, and other collections (see below).

  • A. S. G. E[dwards], ‘Juel-Jensen, Bent’, The Oxford Companion to the Book, ed. Michael F. Suarez, SJ, & H. R. Woudhuysen, Oxford, 2010, vol. 2, p. 837.


Juel-Jensen collection. Bequeathed by Bent Juel-Jensen. More than 100 v from 16th–19th cents.


Juel-Jensen Chatwin Collection Bequeathed by Bent Juel-Jensen. More than 140 books mostly by (some about) Bruce Chatwin (1940–1989), the travel writer and novelist.


Juel-Jensen Drayton Collection  Presented by Bent Juel-Jensen in 1977. c. 340 editions of works by and about Michael Drayton the poet (1563-1631). Includes c. 80 STC items and over 150 works printed pre-1700. The collection comprises works by Drayton, including rare early editions of the individual works as published, collected poems and works, volumes containing selections, translations, works with dedicatory and other verse by him, and later editions. Many works are present in multiple copies, collected because each copy may be of bibliographical interest, representing different issues or, in their various combinations of uncorrected and corrected sheets, different states, or because each copy reflects the taste and period of the original collector. The collection also includes photocopies of books not otherwise represented, and bibliographical, biographical and critical works on Drayton.

The Bodleian's collection of this poet is now at least equal in quality, and certainly superior in number, to those of the British Library and the Huntington Library.

  • B. E. Juel-Jensen, 'Polyolbion, Poems lyrick and pastoral, Poems 1619, The owle, and a few other books by Michael Drayton'. The Library 5th ser, 8 (1953), pp. 145-62.
  • 'A Drayton collection', Book Collector 4 (1955), pp. 133-43.
  • 'Bibliography of the early editions of the writings of Michael Drayton', The works of Michael Drayton, edited by J. W. Hebel (K. Tillotson and B. Newdigate), Corrected ed., Oxford, 1961, vol. 5, pp. 265-306.
  • 'The Juel-Jensen gift of books by Michael Drayton', BLR 10(1978) pp. 1-2.


Juel-Jensen Jensen Collection Presented by Bent Juel-Jensen in 2004. More than 600 books by or about the Danish writer Johannes V. Jensen (1873–1950); manuscripts, typescripts and letter have been handed over to Archives & Modern Manuscripts. 

  • ***, BLR 28/4 (2004), 298.


Juel-Jensen Sidney Collection  Bequeathed by Bent Juel-Jensen. More than 200 books, from the 16th century to the 1990s, relating to Sir Philip Sidney and his works.

  • ‘Notable accessions: Dr Bent Juel-Jensen’s books’, BLR 22 (2009), 225–7.


Jur. [Jurisprudentia]  One part of the original Bodleian four-part classification by faculty or subject in use in various forms over the period 1602-1789, and less frequently until c. 1840, though by the early 18th century, Jur. was already being used for books not on legal subjects, as other shelves filled up. The collection comprises over 8,000 volumes of the 16th-19th centuries. Includes many volumes given by Richard Rawlinson. Part of the collection is now shelved at the Law Library.

Kelmscott Press Collection  60 items, mainly works, including proofs, printed at the Press by William Morris (1834-96), brought together as a collection from copies in the general classification.

  • W. S. Peterson, A bibliography of the Kelmscott Press (Oxford, 1984).


Kierkegaard, Søren, 1813-1855  Danish philosopher and theologian. c. 80 works of the 19th and 20th centuries in 62 volumes, by and about Kierkegaard. Purchased in 1981.

Lawn, Brian  (1905–2001), general practitioner, historian of medieval problem literature. The collection contains approximately 5,000 antiquarian and modern books reflecting Lawn’s interests in medieval, renaissance and humanist thought and science. It includes books on theology, philosophy, and witchcraft; natural science, including alchemy; literature, especially 16th-century Italian material, and a large collection of works by Rabelais; large numbers of pre-1801 British imprints on many subjects; booksellers’ catalogues, reference works and library catalogues of all periods, and unusual and rare books in almost any field that aroused his interest as a bibliophile. Cataloguing in progress.

  • Brian Lawn on Wikipedia
  • 'The Lawn Collection', BLR 18(2003) pp. 197-199.
  • Brian Lawn Catalogus bibliothecae Lawnianae : catalogus catalogorum, Privately Printed, 1995.
  • Catalogus bibliothecae lawnianae : Western and Oriental manuscripts, Privately printed, 1994 .
  • Catalogus Bibliothecae Lawnianae : printed books, Privately printed, 1993.


Lee, R. W. (Robert Warden), 1868-1958  Rhodes Professor of Roman-Dutch law, and Fellow of All Souls (1921-56) presented in 1949. 160 works, dating from the 17th-20th centuries relating mainly to Dutch law and history.


Libri Hungarici  A collection purchased in 1850 for £78 from a (now) unknown German dealer. 416 v, mostly dating from the period 1700–1830, on the history, civil and ecclesiastical, and topography of Hungary and South Eastern Europe. Includes some large volumes of 17th-cent. Protestant theology. Few items are genuinely rare, and these tend to be the less distinguished pieces.

  • Bibliotheca Hungarica. Kirchen- und Profan- Geschichte, Verfassung, Jurisprudenz, Literarhistorie, Geographie und Topographie von Ungarn, Siebenbürgen, Croatien, Dalmatien und den unteren Donauländern. [Bodleian shelfmark 2590 e. Oxf. 1 c.17 = R. 6. 238: a section of a bookseller’s catalogue.]
  • R. J. W. Evans, ‘Hungarica in the Bodleian: a historical sketch’, BLR 9 (1978), 333–45.
  • Macray, 353.
  • Craster, 76.


Libri Polonici  A collection of c. 1,600 volumes purchased in 1850 from Hirsch Edelmann on the recommendation of Mr Asher a 'then well-known Jewish bookseller of Berlin'. The greater part of the collection belonged to Józef Tukaszewicz (1797-1873), classicist, historian, author of books on the history of education and pedagogy and the history of the Church in Poland, particularly the Reformation, teacher of the Polish language, etc. The collection consists of books about Poland written by Polish and foreign authors, depicting a short period of Polish cultural history in relation to the Church and the Reformation, with an emphasis on the development of education, pedagogics and trends in Polish teaching. It contains examples of almost all notable 16th century printers, and also Polish books printed abroad. There are in total 252 16th century titles, 1231 17th and 18th century titles, and 309 19th century titles up to 1840. Most of the books are in Polish, Latin, French and German, a few in Czech. 200 vols. were incorporated into the collection in 1883 which did not belong to Tukaszewicz. The main categories of books are: Polish history; Polish law; political journalism; history of the Church in Poland, a large part of the collection, including Catholic and non-Catholic translations of the Bible and the New Testament, Psalters, lives of the saints, sermons, ecclesiastical regulations, and theological studies and polemics, particularly of the Reformation period; history of education and pedagogics in Poland; and Polish language and literature (belles-lettres).

  • Z. Florczak, 'Libri Polonici, a special collection in the Bodleian Library', BLR, XIV, 3 (October 1992) 207-27.
  • Polonica from the Bodleian's Pre-1920 catalogue. 1993.
  • Macray, p. 353 [where he states that 1,200 volumes were purchased for £366].
  • Craster, p. 76.


Linc. [‘Lincolniensis’] Linc. contains the quarto and octavo printed books from the collection of Thomas Barlow (1607–1691), Bodley’s Librarian (1653–60), Provost of the Queen’s College (1657), Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity (1660), and Bishop of Lincoln (1675). Barlow bequeathed 54 mss and those books in his library not already in the Bodleian (others went to The Queen’s College). The quartos and octavos are particularly rich in tracts and pamphlets of the reign of Charles I and of the Civil Wars and Interregnum and in early theology. These tracts for the times (political, theological, philosophical) were often anonymous, and many of their authors have been identified on Barlow’s testimony. The folio volumes from Barlow’s library, not numerous, are dispersed amongst other folio volumes. Some later volumes, not Barlow’s, have been added to Linc., particularly during the 18th cent making a total of c6,000 v.


Lincoln, Christ’s Hospital School A collection of early printed books on varied subjects from Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School, presented to the library in 2019 by The Foundation of Christ's Hospital at Lincoln. The books comprise 107 editions in 88 shelfmarks, distributed by century as follows: -1500 (2); 1501-1600 (54); 1601-1700 (26); 1701-1800 (20); 1801-1900 (5); there is also one manuscript. The collection is rich in 16th-century blind-tooled bindings, with examples by Spierinck, Godfrey, and the Heavy Binder. A central core of the 16th- and 17th-century books was owned by John Smith, thought to be the doctor of this name practising in London between about 1591 and 1620, and nephew of the school’s founder, Richard Smith. He annotated his books extensively, and there are many traces of earlier ownership, often localised around Cambridge and Lincoln, besides Smith’s inscriptions, monogram, and date, place, or means of acquisition including purchase or exchange. Sample shelfmark: Lincoln CHS 1

  • Kate Naylor, Richard Smith, M. D., the founder of Christ's Hospital, Lincoln, (Lincoln, 1951) 
  • Francesca Galligan, ‘Notes and Documents: Books from Christ’s Hospital School, Lincoln’, BLR 33, 1-2 (2020), 218-26.


Limited Editions Club  A collection of over 500 publications of the Limited Editions Club, New York, from 1929, began to be formed in 1964 when the funds of Bodley's American Friends enabled the Library to secure a subscription to the Club.


Lister, Martin, 1638?-1712  Physician and zoologist. c. 1,260 volumes dating from the 16th-18th centuries, but mainly 17th centuries on medicine, anatomy, natural philosophy, botany, and voyages and travels, bequeathed to the Ashmolean Museum, but transferred to the Bodleian in 1860. A small number of Lister's books are in the collection shelfmarked Ashmole A-H (q.v.).


Locke, John, 1632-1704  Philosopher, from 1691 Locke lived with the Masham family at Oates, Essex. On his death he left all his MSS and his interleaved books, and one 'Moiety' of the rest of his books to his cousin Peter King, later Lord King (1669-1734). The papers and correspondence remained in the possession of Lord King's descendants, who later became the Earls of Lovelace, until 1947, when most were bought by the Bodleian. In 1951 the remainder of the King moiety of Locke's library was discovered at Ben Damph Forest, a seat of the Earl of Lovelace, and were later bought by Mr Paul Mellon (1907-1999) (together with the manuscripts which the Earl of Lovelace had retained). Mr Mellon presented them to the Bodleian, transferring them there in 1978 along with a number of other books from Locke's library which he had in the meantime bought. The Bodleian now holds in its Locke Room, in addition to the MSS purchased in 1947 and MSS given by Mr Mellon, all the books with the location 'Oak Spring' in Harrison and Laslett's The Library of John Locke and other printed volumes from Locke's library, a total of over 800 printed volumes. Volumes from other Bodleian collections known to have belonged to Locke, and some which belonged to the other 'moiety' of Locke's library (left to Frances Cudworth Masham and subsequently dispersed) have been integrated with Mr Mellon's gift.

  • John Locke on Wikipedia
  • John Locke on Book Owners Online
  • P. Long, A summary catalogue of the Lovelace collection of the papers of John Locke in the Bodleian Library, Oxford Bib Soc publications, new ser vol. 8, Oxford, 1959.
  • 'The Mellon donation of additional manuscripts of John Locke from the Lovelace collection', BLR 7(1964), pp. 185-93.
  • Gifts from Mr Paul Mellon and Dr E. S. de Beer', Ibid 6 (1960), pp. 575-6.
  • University of Oxford, Annual Report of the Curators of the Bodleian Library for 1977-1978 (June 1979), pp. 42-3.
  • R. J. Roberts, 'The John Locke Room in the Bodleian Library, Oxford', The Locke newsletter no. 9 (1978).
  • [Books from the Locke collection donated to the Bodleian Library by Mr Paul Mellon and published in the period covered by Wing's Short-title catalogue, 1641-1700], BLR 10,6 (May 1982), pp. 376-82; 11,2 (May 1983) 121-5; 11,4 (May 1984) 247-51.
  • [Acquisitions of books from Locke's library]. BLR, 11,2 (May 1983) 120; 11,3 (November 1983) 191-2.
  • P. Laslett, 'Lord Masham's library at Oates', TLS 15 August 1952, p. 533.
  • J. Harrison and P. Laslett, 'The library of John Locke', Ibid 27 December 1957, p. 792.
  • 'John Locke's books and papers for his own university', Ibid 11 March 1960, p. 168.
  • J. Harrison and P. Laslett, The library of John Locke, Oxford Bib Soc Pubn, new ser vol. 13, Oxford 1965; 2nd edition, Oxford 1971.
  • F. Waldmann, ‘The library of John Locke: additions, corrigenda and a conspectus of pressmarks’, BLR 26 (2013), 36–58.


Long, E. T., 1891–1977 Local historian and editor of volumes of Arthur Mee’s county histories. Long put together a large collection of material relating to English parish churches, including many guidebooks, articles, photographs, and manuscript notebooks; the collection was probably acquired by the Bodleian in the late 1970s. Edward Tudor Long wrote on church interiors, particularly in Oxfordshire and Dorset. Long’s collection of postcards of churches, also in the Bodleian’s collections, is housed separately, as part of the John Johnson collection (q.v.).

McGhee [M’Ghee], Robert J. (Robert James), Reverend, 1789-1872, Church of Ireland priest and polemicist, presented 32 volumes of Roman Catholic theology, ranging in date from 1770-1850, but mostly of the first half of the 19th century. Includes editions of the Douay and Rheims versions of the Bible, of some Irish diocesan statutes, of Bailly's Theologia moralis and Delahogue's dogmatic treatises and various Irish polemical pamphlets, some by the donor.

  • R. J. McGhee, The Church of Rome: her present moral theology, scriptural instruction and canon law, a report on the books and documents on the Papacy deposited in the University Library, Cambridge, the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the library of Trinity College, Dublin, AD 1840. London, 1853. A list of the volumes is printed pp. xiv-xxiii.
  • Macray, p. 340.
  • ODNB


MacNeice,  Louis, 1907–1963 Poet and playwright. Books selected from MacNeice’s library collections were acquired by the Bodleian in 1996, along with his papers. 

  • C. M. Armitage & N. Clark, A bibliography of the works of Louis MacNeice, London, 1973.


Malone, Edmond, 1741-1812  Shakespearian scholar, bequeathed his library to his brother, Lord Sunderlin, who presented to the Bodleian in 1815 (but not received until 1821) 770 volumes containing c. 3,000 items, the rest of the library being sold in 1818. The collection is chiefly of Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Caroline literature, particularly drama, but it also contains some Restoration drama and works by Dryden. Malone's collection of the early editions of Shakespeare's plays and poems in seven quarto volumes (Malone 32-8, kept as Arch. G. d.39-45) represented in Malone's time the most complete collection of early editions ever made. Included in the Malone collection are almost 1,000 printed plays given him by George Steevens (1736-1800) and augmented by Malone in two series: (i) Malone 39-128, containing late-17th and early-18th century editions, (ii) Malone 158-234, most of which are Caroline, though a few are Elizabethan and others are dated after 1660: Shakespeare is largely absent. Included also is Malone's own copy of his Shakespeare of 1790 (Malone 1046-57), heavily annotated for the second edition he did not live to publish. Malone's books were working copies, which he annotated: the pages of his Shakespeare quartos were inlaid within large margins. Bound volumes of plays were split up at the suggestion of F. P. Wilson. The Bodleian has also acquired some of Malone's other printed books (see Godwyn), and some of his MS collections.

  • Edmond Malone on Wikipedia
  • Catalogue of early English poetry and other miscellaneous works illustrating the British drama, collected by E Malone, and now preserved in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1836. [Bodleian copy shelfmarked 2590 d.Oxf.1.43 =R.6.100 annotated with shelfmarks in ms].
  • J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps, A handlist of the early English literature preserved in the Malone collection in the Bodleian Library, selected from the printed catalogue of that collection, 1860.
  • Macray, pp. 306-8.
  • L. W. Hanson, 'The Shakespeare collection in the Bodleian Library, Oxford', Shakespeare Survey 4(1951), pp. 78-95.
  • William Shakespeare, 1564-1964, a catalogue of the quatercentenary exhibition in the Divinity School, Oxford. Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1964.
  • J. M. Osborn, 'Edmond Malone: scholar-collector', The Library, 5th ser, 19 (1964), pp. 11-37.
  • C. J. Stratman, 'A survey of the Bodleian Library's holdings in the field of English printed tragedy', BLR 7 (1964), pp. 133-43.
  • Bodleian accessions of English drama from c. 1860-83 were added to the Malone collection. From 1883 to 1988 such accessions were given the shelfmark M.adds.
  • See Malone ManuscriptsMalone Papers; and Malone Additional Papers


Manning, Percy, 1870-1917  Bequeathed c. 500 books, mainly of the 19th and early-20th centuries, on the antiquities and history of the city, county and university of Oxford and its neighbouring areas, with some manuscripts and 87 portfolios of local engravings and drawings.

  • Percy Manning on Wikipedia
  • Craster, p. 313.
  • Percy Manning: the man who collected Oxfordshire, ed. Michael Heaney (Oxford, 2017).


Mansfield College Collection  Purchased from Mansfield College, Oxford, in c. 1970, it contains over 500 bound volumes, comprising many more items, mainly theological of Congregational Church interest. Included are 140 bound volumes of pamphlets, mostly Dutch and German, of the 19th and early-20th centuries, volumes of sermons and tracts, especially provincial tracts, English and foreign books of the 17th-20th centuries, and a few early printed books. Many volumes bear the bookplates of former owners, including Spring Hill College, Birmingham (the former name of Mansfield College); in 1872 Thomas Smith James (1809-74), son of John Angell James (1785-1859), presented to Spring Hill College over 600 volumes, many formerly owned by his father.

  • P. Morgan, Oxford libraries outside the Bodleian, 2nd edition, Oxford, 1980, p. 82.


[Marlborough Vicar's Library]  The Vicar's Library, St Mary's, Marlborough, Wiltshire. The bulk of the collection was put together by William White (1604-1678), Master of Magdalen College School 1632-1648 and later Rector of Pusey and of Appleton, who bequeathed it to the Mayor and Corporation of Marlborough in trust for the use of the Vicar of St. Mary's. Deposited on permanent loan in the Bodleian in 1985. Over 600 volumes, containing c. 760 items, including 237 items printed in Britain before 1641, of which 8 are the only known copies and another 45 are rare. The majority of the volumes are theology, works of scholarship and school books (there are 13 specimens of the grammatical treatises of Robert Whittington and a volume of 5 tracts by John Stanbridge of which 4 are unique), while classics, literature, political tracts, history, law and medicine are also represented. Includes many books interesting for their associations and many annotated with date of purchase and price. The majority of the bindings are by Oxford binders of the 17th century, with some earlier blind-tooled examples.

  • P. Morgan, 'The Vicar's Library, St Mary's, Marlborough, Wiltshire', BLR, XII, 1 (October 1985) 76-7.
  • E. G. H.Kempson, 'The Vicar's Library, St Mary's, Marlborough', Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 1i (December 1945) 194-215.


Marshall, Thomas, 1621-1685  Chaplain to the Merchant Adventurers at Rotterdam and Dort (1650-72), Rector of Lincoln College (1672), Dean of Gloucester (1681), bequeathed to the Bodleian his mss (76 oriental and 63 western), and such of his printed books as were not already in the library. The printed books include contemporary Protestant theology (English and Continental), and works on Anglo-Saxon and Middle Eastern languages, reflecting his exile in the Netherlands during the Commonwealth, and an interest in linguistics and philology. There are now c. 900 printed volumes in the collection, many of these being additions to the Marshall bequest. The wide variety of his linguistic interests is shown by the presence of languages such as Frisian, Irish and Romanian, which were certainly rare at that period in the libraries of Englishmen. Lincoln College, Oxford, also received books from Marshall. There is a list of the Marshall books selected by the Bodleian in Thomas Hyde’s register, Library Records c. 853, fols 69 ff.

  • Macray, p. 154.
  • Philip, p. 58.
  • V. Green, The commonwealth of Lincoln College 1427–1977 (Oxford, 1979), esp. 275–80, 284–90.


Mason, Robert, 1783-1841  DD of The Queen's College, bequeathed to the Bodleian the sum of £36,000, used for the purchase of c. 8,000 volumes of the 16th-19th centuries, including plate books, editions de luxe, and works of some degree of value or rarity in various languages.

  • Macray, p. 342.
  • Craster, pp. 17, 35.


Mathematics  A collection of 60 folios and large quartos on mathematical and technical subjects received among the new books between 1861 and 1883.


Mather  A collection assembled by H. O. Coxe when Bodley's Librarian, partly from books already in the library, partly from special purchases. Over 170 works of the 17th-19th centuries, mostly Boston imprints, being works by, or on, Cotton Mather (1663-1728) and Increase Mather (1639-1723), New England divines, and other members of the Mather family.

  • Macray, p. 383.
  • Craster, p. 77.


Med. [Medicina]  One part of the original Bodleian four-part classification by faculty, or subject, in use in various forms over the period 1602-1789 and less frequently until c. 1840. In the later years the distinction by faculty began to be disregarded, and books were added where there was space on the shelves. The collection comprises over 2,700 volumes of the 16th-19th centuries.


Medicine  A collection of c. 30 folios and large quartos on medical subjects among the new books received between 1861 and 1883.


Meerman, John, 1753-1815  The only son of Gerard, the author of Origines typographicae (1765), had inherited his father's library in 1771. c. 1,500 volumes were bought at the sale of the library at The Hague in 1824, including works of foreign history and law, and some classics, dating from the 16th-19th centuries.

  • Bibliotheca Meermanniana; sive Catalogus librorum impressorum et codicum manuscriptorum... quos... collegerunt... Gerardus & Joannes Meerman; morte dereliquit Joannes Meerman... quorum publica fiet auctio... MDCCCXXIV. 4 tom. Hagae Comitum, 1824.
  • A catalogue of books purchased for the Bodleian Library during the year ending November 8, 1824. [With] A catalogue of books purchased for the Bodleian Library at the sale of M Meerman at The Hague, June 8-July 4, 1824, with a statement of the expenses attending the purchase.
  • 'Dean Gainsford and the Meerman collection', BLR, 4 (1952) 7-8.


[Mexican pamphlets]  41 volumes shelfmarked 233 f. 101-140 and 274 b. 18] Collected during 1861 by Henry Ward Poole (1825-90) in Mexico City: he sold to Henry Stevens, the bookdealer, who sold to the Bodleian in 1870. 1,446 separate pamphlets, excluding duplicates and triplicates and several runs of periodicals, printed in the period 1754-1841, mainly in Mexico City. 945 pamphlets our of the 1,446 relate to the years 1820-7, the period during which Mexico attained independence and abolished censorship of the press; 444 pamphlets date from 1820. The main set of volumes at 233 f. 101-140 divide into three sections: the first 6 volumes containing c. 340 pamphlets, were almost all printed in 1820; the next 18 volumes date from the period 1820-7. Poole made detailed pencil annotations on the pamphlets, particularly in the last 8 volumes of this main set.

  • A. R. Bonner, 'Mexican pamphlets in the Bodleian Library', BLR, 8 (1970), pp. 205-13.
  • C. Steele and M. P. Costeloe, Independent Mexico: a collection of Mexican pamphlets in the Bodleian Library. London, Mansell, 1973.


Mill House Press Collection  c50 books, etc. printed at the Mill House Press, Stanford Dingley, Reading, Berkshire, 1926–71, given by Robert Gathorne-Hardy (1902–1973) in memory of Kyrle Leng (1900–1958). Some have ms notes, some are Kyrle Leng’s copies, some are special copies.


Monro, D. B. (David Binning), 1836-1905  Fellow (1859) and Provost (1882) of Oriel College. Over 1,000 volumes on Homeric studies, mainly 19th century, were purchased by subscription from his library in memory of him by a number of his friends and presented to the Bodleian. He had left to Oriel College c. 1,000 volumes on comparative philology and mythology, and most of these are now on permanent loan to the library of the Taylor Institution, Oxford (q.v.).

  • Craster, p. 182.
  • J. C. Wilson, David Binning Monro: a short memoir, Oxford, 1907, p. 14.


Montagu, Montagu, Captain (RN), d. 1863  Bequeathed to the Bodleian c700 v in various branches of literature, dating from 16th-19th cent, including 90 editions and versions of the Psalter, with works on Psalmody, editions of Anacreon, Horace, Juvenal, Phaedrus, Petrarch, Boileau and La Fontaine, and topographical and biographical works grangerized with additional engravings.

  • List of manuscripts. .. illustrated and other books, etc, the bequest of the late Captain Montagu Montagu to the Bodleian Library. Oxford, 1864. [Bodleian copy shelfmarked 2590 e.Oxf.1.50=R.6.208 annotated with Bodleian shelfmarks.]
  • Macray, pp. 377-8.


Moorcock, Michael John, 1939–  Writer of science fiction and fantasy literature. The Library has nearly 500 v of his works.

  • J. Davey, ‘Michael Moorcock: a reader’s guide’, printed typescript, 1992.


De Mortara, Alessandro, conte (d.1855) The Bodleian bought from him in 1852 1,400 v dating from 16th-19th cent, rich in rare 16th cent editions of Italian authors, and including early editions of Ariosto, Boccaccio, Dante and Tasso.

  • A. Mortara, Biblioteca Italica ossio Catalogo de' testi a stampa citati nel Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca e di altri libri italiani pregevoli e rari già posseduti dal C A M ed ora passati in proprietà della Biblioteca Bodleiana, Oxford, 1852.
  • Macray, p. 357.
  • Craster, pp. 75-6.


Morton. A collection of more than 300 miniature books dating from the 17th to 20th centuries covering many subjects, put together by Ursula Mary Radford (1894–1976) and presented to the Bodleian by Helen Morton in 2010.

  • C H[urst], ‘Collection of miniature books’, BLR 23 (2010), 249.


Moss, William E., Colonel, 1875-1953  Made donations to the Bodleian during his lifetime. On his death in 1953 his widow presented a collection of books and papers on bookbinding and on William Blake. Included are photographs, rubbings, and offprints of, cuttings and notes on, Renaissance bindings, especially bindings for Grolier, "Maioli", Thomas Wotton, Archbishop Parker, and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and also on Mearne-type and Elkanah Settle bindings.

  • 'Elkanah Settle', BLR 2(1944), pp. 92-3.
  • S. Gibson 'Colonel William E. Moss' (with] 'The Moss donation [a list]', BLR 5(1955), pp. 156-66.


Murray, H. J. R. (Harold James Ruthven), 1869-1955  Author of History of chess (1913), bequeathed c. 240 items of 16th-20th centuries, but mostly 19th and 20th centuries, being books on chess, plus newspaper cuttings, book catalogues, prospectuses of books,  etc.


Mus.Bibl. [Museum Bibliothecae]


Mus.Bibl.II  c. 120 volumes, being editions of works by Thomas Hearne (1678-1735), historical antiquary, bought together from existing collections and added to.


Mus.Bibl.III  Over 800 v, representing many more items. Auction, booksellers’ and library catalogues of 17th–19th cents. brought together from c.1860, some from existing collections, while others were current catalogues of the period and others were purchased.

  • D. M. Rogers, ‘Book auction sale catalogues’, BLR 10 (1981), 269–70.
  • List of catalogues of English book sales, 1676–1900, now in the British Museum (London, 1915), arranged chronologically, with index of owners: Bodleian Library has xeroxes of A N L Munby’s interleaved copy annotated with additions and Bodleian Library’s shelfmarks.
  • A. N. L. Munby and L. Coral, British book sale catalogues 1676–1800: a union list (London, 1977). [With locations in the Bodleian.]
  • R. Alston, Inventory of Sale Catalogues of Named and Attributed Owners of Books Sold by Retail or Auction 1676–1800: an Inventory of Sales in the British Isles, America, United States, Canada, and India, 2 vols (St Philip, Barbados, 2010).

Namier. A small collection (25 volumes) of works in German on German history, presumably related to the acquisition by the Bodleian in 1962 of working papers of the historian Sir Lewis Namier (1888–1960, Professor of Modern History, Manchester University) for his unpublished Waynflete Lectures, University of Oxford, 1946/7, on the German Revolution of 1848; see


N.N. [Nichols Newspapers]  Formed by John Nichols (1745-1826), printer, publisher and author of the Literary anecdotes, and purchased by the Bodleian in 1865 from John Bowyer Nichols (1779-1863), his son. c. 1,100 items, more or less complete sets, in chronological order of issue, of London newspapers from 1672-1737.


North. A small and miscellaneous collection of just over 50 printed items, including books, pamphlets, broadsides, engravings, etc dating from 16th–19th cents., formerly owned by the North family, of Wroxton Abbey, near Banbury. Acquired by the Bodleian in 1932, as part of the purchase of the North papers, by the Pilgrim Trust.

  • Handlist of papers [compiled by Count Roberto Weiss, later Professor of Italian at UCL] lists the printed books at pp. 39–48 [Library Records d. 1059].

Officina Bodoni  Over 100 (many from the collection of John Ryder (q.v.)) of the 198 books printed by Giovanni Mardersteig at the Officina Bodoni in Montagnola and Verona, 1923–77.

  • G. Mardersteig, The Officina Bodoni: an account of the work of a hand press 1923–1977, ed. and trans. Hans Schmoller (Verona, 1980).
  • A. L. F[lavell], ‘Books printed by Giovanni Mardersteig at the Officina Bodoni’, BLR 13 (1991), 508–10.


Opie  Donated by Iona (1923-2017 ) and Peter Mason (1918-1982) Opie, the Opie Collection is a collection of works written or published for children, or related thereto, mainly British, totalling c. 20,000 items, put together from the mid 1940s to the early 1980s as a private research resource, rich in terms of rarity and deep in terms of quantity of variant editions, ranging in date from the 16th to the 20th century, including c. 800 18th century books. Includes much of Roland Knaster's collection, strong in foreign books and books of the 1920s and 1930s. Arranged in c. 20 categories, relating either to form or subject (when a category contains a good proportion of early books it is subdivided into pre- and post- 1850): stories (over 1,400 pre-1850 and 2,700 post-1850 items); books of instruction (over 360 pre-1850 and 280 post-1850 items); fables, legends, and fairy tales (over 1,200 items); biography and history (over 270 pe-1850 and 250 post-1850 items); moveables (over 70 pre-1850 and 470 post-1850 items); natural science (over 280 pre-1850 and 450 post-1850 items); primers and alphabets (over 340 pre-1850 and 320 post-1850 items); travel and geography (over 200 pre-1850 and 100 post-1850 items); periodicals and annuals (over 40 pre-1850 and 900 post-1850 items);games and pastimes (over 90 pre-1850 and 1,200 post-1850 items); religious instruction (over 360 pre-1850 and 290 post-1850 items); toy-books (over 1,000 items); nursery rhymes (over 1,000 items); poetry and verse (over 540 pre-1850 and 770 post-1850 items); keepsakes and miscellanies, almanacs and birthday books (over 40 pre-1850 and 160 post-1850 items); drama (over 190 items); music (over 170 items); foreign languages (over 1,300 items); hornbooks, cabinets, etc.; copy, exercise and drawing books; manuscripts and original artwork; ephemera. Accompanying the collection are records of the books: catalogue cards, accession diaries, notes loosely inserted into books, etc. Acquired by the Bodleian in 1988 after a public appeal, Iona Opie donating half the value of the collection.

Readers will be asked to use published facsimiles or microfiches of books filmed by University Microfilms, when available.

  • Iona and Peter Opie. Three centuries of nursery rhymes and poetry for children, an exhibition held at the National Book League. London, 1973.
  • Iona and Robert Opie and Brian Alderson, The Treasures of childhood: books, games and toys from the Opie collection. London, 1989.
  • The Opie collection of children's literature: a guide to the microfiche collections. University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, 1991-
  • The Opie Collection: the world of Mother Goose. Facsimile editions reproduced from the Opie collection. Holp Shuppan, Tokyo, 1992. [Introductory volume contains descriptions of the books, and essays on the Opie collection and on children's books in the Bodleian].
  • Clive Hurst, 'Selections from the accession diaries of Peter Opie', in Children and their books, a celebration of the work of Iona and Peter Opie, ed. G. Avery and J. Briggs, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1989, pp. 19-44.


Oxford University Press collections [see also Clarendon Press]

a) OUP Type specimens  Over 300 type specimens, over 60 pre-1850, the majority either English or Scottish.

  • J. S. G. Simmons, ' Specimens of printing types before 1850 in the Typographical Library of the University Press, Oxford', Book Collector VIII (1959) 397-410.Catalogue alphabetical by name of founder or printer, and chronological table (1695-1849).

b) OUP Delegates’ Library. c1,000 Clarendon Press file copies (for the use of the Secretary to the Delegates of the Press) of books printed in the 18th and 19th cent, and mostly bound at the time in original boards or cloth bindings, deposited on permanent loan in the Bodleian by the University Press in 1975. Cataloguing in progress.

c) OUP Printer's Library Deposited on permanent loan in the Bodleian by the Printer to the University. A collection, begun by John Johnson while he was Printer to the University, of c2,000 books printed in Oxford from 1585 to the 20th cent, including some items formerly owned by Falconer Madan (1851–1935), the historian of Oxford printing. Includes a few large quarto and folio finely bound Bibles and Books of Common Prayer. Arranged by size and by date.

  • Separate slip catalogues by author, printer and date.
  • Card index of names of former owners, bookplates, etc.
  • P Morgan, Oxford libraries outside the Bodleian, 2nd edn, Oxford, 1980, p206-8, esp. 207-8.


Φ [Phi.] Material classified as erotica. Sequence now closed

  • Lloyd Houston, ‘Towards a History of the Phi Collection’, BLR 28/2 (2015), 179–94


Pamph. [Bartholomew Pamphlets]  Humphrey Bartholomew, of University College, presented to the Radcliffe Library in 1749 c. 50,000 English pamphlets of the period 1603-1740, including Civil War pamphlets, bound chronologically in 410 volumes They were transferred to the Bodleian in c. 1861 and shelfmarked Pamph.

  • 'Pamphlets index' [MS. Bodleian shelfmark R.6.200/1-2]


Percy, Thomas, 1729-1811  Bishop of Dromore, antiquary, editor of the Reliques of ancient English poetry, and a member of the Johnson circle. A collection of c. 120 volumes, mainly literary and of 17th-19th centuries, which his daughters kept on his death, were presented to the Bodleian in 1933 by his great-granddaughter, Miss Constance Meade, and were augmented by other books and MSS associated with him. They include annotated copies of Goldsmith, Johnson and other 18th centur authors; a set of The Rambler (1756) with MS notes by Percy, and of The Idler (1761) with MS notes by Percy and Johnson, and works edited and translated by Percy. The printed ephemera, which had passed into the Meade family with the residue of Bishop Percy's books and papers, was given in 1930 to John Johnson's collection of printed ephemera at the University Press, and is now part of the John Johnson collection at the Bodleian.

  • Craster, p. 278.
  • D. Nicol Smith, 'The contributors to The Rambler and The Idler', BQR 7(1934), pp. 508-9.
  • 'The Constance Meade collection and the University Press Museum', BLR 6(1958), pp. 427-33.


Pettingell, Frank, 1891-1966  Stage and screen actor. A collection of 800 volumes of 19th century 'penny-dreadful' publications, many published in parts, purchased by the Bodleian in 1966 from his widow. Of greatest value for the study of the prolific, but less well-known, popular writers of the period, and a valuable supplement to the Library's holdings received by copyright, for the copyright system failed to bring in many of these very cheap and ephemeral but, for the social historian, very significant, printed pieces.

  • Frank Pettingell on Wikipedia
  • MS handlist/catalogue.
  • University of Oxford. Annual Report of the Curators of the Bodleian Library for 1966-7.
  • Louis James, Fiction for the working man 1830-1850, London, 1963. Appendix III (pp. 184-94): Checklist of penny-issue novels not listed in Montague Summers's Gothic Bibliography; includes Pettingell locations.


Physics  A collection of 170 folios and large quartos on physics and other scientific subjects received among the new books between 1861 and 1883.


Poetry  A collection of 70 folios and large quartos of verse received among the new books between 1861 and 1883.


Powell, Baden, 1796-1860  Savilian Professor of Geometry (1827-60). 170 volumes from his library presented in 1970 by his grandson, Donald F. W. Baden-Powell (1897–1973), including some science, some theology, 17th and 18th - century editions of the classics, and works on education, including a collection of papers on the University syllabuses annotated by him.

  • 'The Baden Powell Library', BLR 8(1970), p. 172.


Printer's Library see Oxford University Press Printer's Library


Radcliffe science collections. The scientific, medical and mathematical collections of the University. Began as the Radcliffe Library, housed in what is now the Radcliffe Camera (1749–1861). Up to 1810 the bookstock of the Radcliffe Library consisted mostly of miscellaneous bequests, donations and occasional purchases. From 1810 to 1861 purchases were made in medicine and natural history. In 1861 the scientific books from the Radcliffe Library were transferred to the new University Museum building, and in 1902 a new building was provided next to the Museum. In 1861 the Bodleian Curators were empowered to deposit certain scientific books and periodicals in the Radcliffe Library. The Trustees in 1893 handed over to the Bodleian those books on non-scientific subjects which the Bodleian cared to take (see below, ‘Radcl.’), and sold non-scientific works not wanted by the Bodleian. In 1927 the Trustees of the Radcliffe Library handed over to the University their library building and its contents, which then became known as the Radcliffe Science Library, and also the freehold of the Radcliffe Camera.

  • H. C. Harley, ‘The Radcliffe Science Library’, in The history of the University of Oxford, v6/1 (the nineteenth century), Oxford, 1997, 692–3.


a) Radcl. [Radcliffe] 780 v, being non-scientific works of 16th-18th cent, and including books on architecture, classics, history, literature and theology. Included are books bequeathed to the Radcliffe Library by James Gibbs (1682–1754), the architect of the building, Richard Frewin (1681?–1761) Camden Professor of Ancient History, and other benefactors. Other non-scientific works not wanted by the Bodleian were sold in 1894.

  • Bibliotheca Radcliviana, 1749–1949, Catalogue of an exhibition, Oxford, 1949

b) The Rare Book collection, formerly in the Radcliffe Science Library:

i) former Committee Room (CR) collection (of Radcliffe Library origin), shelfmarked ‘CR.A’–‘CR.M’, consisting of over 250 works on botany and natural history, including plate-books, English and foreign, mostly dating from the 18th and 19th cent, with some of the 17th and 20th cent.

ii) former Committee Room (CR) collection (of Radcliffe Library and Bodleian origin), shelfmarked ‘CR.N’–‘CR.S’, consisting of over 800 works printed pre-1850, English and foreign, on the natural sciences and medicine, taken out of the stack in the late 1970s.

iii) The Rare Book Room collection (of Radcliffe Library origin), shelfmarked RR, consisting of over 620 titles of the 15th–20th cent, English and foreign, mainly on the natural sciences and medicine. Some of these were bequeathed to the Radcliffe Library by James Gibbs and Richard Frewin.

iv) Sir Henry Wentworth Acland (1815–1900), physician, Fellow of All Souls (1840), Radcliffe Librarian (1851), Regius Professor of Medicine (1858), presented to the Radcliffe Library 40 v containing c.640 pamphlets, published between c.1830 and 1900, mainly in the English language, on medical subjects. Arranged by subject. Each volume includes a list of contents.

  • No handlist.


Radford, Ursula Mary (1894–1976). See Morton


Rawlinson, Richard, 1690-1755  Non-juring bishop (1728), antiquary and collector, had formed a foreign, classical and English library, and bought a large proportion of the Oriental and other volumes at the sale of his brother Thomas's library in 1734. He had been a considerable benefactor during his lifetime: some hundreds of books in the shelfmark Jur. and elsewhere were given by him from 1730 on. A series of almanacs in 175 volumes, ranging in date from 1607-1747, were sent to the library in 1752-55, and are shelfmarked Rawlinson Almanacs: other almanacs have been added to the collection. He bequeathed to the University his large collection of 5,205 MSS, among which are bound much printed material, largely contemporary printed sheets, including ballad sheets and book prospectuses; and all such printed books as were on vellum or silk or contained any manuscript note. c. 1,800 volumes in quarto and smaller sizes are shelfmarked Rawlinson. They date from 16th-18th centuries and include theology, contemporary politics, history and antiquities, topography and early English literature. A volume containing a collection of the broadside proclamations issued during the reign of Elizabeth I is now kept as Arch.G.c.6.

Rawlinson's books include some owned by Thomas Hearne (1678-1735): Hearne bequeathed all his MSS and books with MS notes, to William Bedford (d. 1747), from whose widow Rawlinson bought them. Some of the Rawlinson printed books appear to have been disposed of in sales of Bodleian duplicates.

  • Rawlinson almanacks, with index [MS. Bodleian shelfmark R.6.223].
  • Index to the Rawlinson copperplates [Bodleian shelfmark MS. Top. Oxon d.276=R.6.236]
  • Macray, pp. 231-51.
  • Philip, pp. 93-8.
  • B. J. Enright, 'Rawlinson and the chandlers', BLR 4 (1953), pp. 216-17.
  • B. J. Enright, Richard Rawlinson, collector, antiquary and topographer. Unpubl. Oxford University thesis. (MS. D.Phil. d. 1786)
  • Richard Rawlinson, a tercentenary memorial, by G. R. Tashjian, D. R. Tashjian, B. J. Enright. Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, 1990.
  • Stanley Gilllam, 'Thomas Hearne's library', BLR, XII,1(October 1985) 52-64.
  • Stanley Gillam, 'Anthony Wood's trustees and their friends', BLR, XV, 3(October 1995) 187-210.


Rec. [Recentiores]  A collection of 100 books published after 1850 which would be unsuitably placed if dispersed through the current classification for modern books, eg books having dust jackets before the period when these were preserved generally, proof copies, series.


Rigaud, Stephen Peter, 1774-1839  Mathematical historian and astronomer, Fellow of Exeter College (1794-1810, Savilian Professor of Geometry (1810-27), Savilian Professor of Astronomy and Radcliffe Observer (1827-39). When his large library, chiefly of 18th century writers, was sold in 1839, his books on astronomy, mathematics, and physics were purchased by the Radcliffe Trustees for the Observatory. In 1935, 840 books, not then in the Bodleian, were presented to the library and the rest sold.

  • Catalogue of the theological, classical and miscellaneous library of Stephen Peter Rigaud... which will be sold by auction by Mr Evans. London, 1839.
  • Craster, pp. 185-6.


Robb-Smith, Alastair, 1908–2000 Collection belonging to Bodleian Health Care Libraries, and consisting of copies of more than 700 titles of works dating from 16th to 20th centuries, on medical and non-medical subjects, forming the bequest of Dr Robb-Smith, Nuffield Reader in Pathology, University of Oxford 1937–75, and Fellow of St Cross College 1965–75. The main collection bears the shelfmark ‘Robb Smith’; non-medical material has been catalogued into the main Library collections, with the provenance noted.

  • Royal College of Physicians, Munk’s Roll, vol. XII (2005– ), web version.


Rogerson 243 volumes, chosen out of the library of Mr John A. Rogerson, of St Michael’s, Lockerbie, Dumfries (d. 12 September 1965). Rogerson left to the Bodleian such volumes as it should wish to have, although it transpired that some 26 volumes listed in Rogerson’s manuscript catalogue in 1944, and wanted by Bodley, could not be found when B. P. Robinson [library staff] visited St Michael’s in December 1965.

Many of the books belonged to Revd Josiah Walker (1761-1831), professor of humanities at Glasgow University, and biographer of Robert Burns; the works of Walker’s 4th son (also Josiah) were edited by his daughter, Mrs A. Rogerson, John Rogerson’s aunt.

A card catalogue of the Rogerson was compiled by B. P. Robinson in 1967, and this information is taken from his introductory index card to the catalogue, dated 31 Mar. 1967. The catalogue is now kept at Library Records, RC 2014/355.

The antiquarian books were given shelfmarks in Vet., whilst the remaining books were shelfmarked in the appropriate Nicholson shelfmarks then in use. Robinson noted that seven of the books were passed on to Foreign Accessions (there is, apparently, a list in the Rogerson file, but this file has not yet been located [9 Dec. 2022]). The books bear a white paper book-plate, with the wording ‘Bodleian Library John A. Rogerson Bequest 1965’. 


Roxburghe Club  A collection of 230 publications of the Roxburghe Club from 1814.

  • N. J. Barker, The publications of the Roxburghe Club 1814-1962, an essay with a bibliographical table. Cambridge, Roxburghe Club, 1964.


Ryder, John, 1923–2001 Designer and art director for The Bodley Head press. The collection includes more than 800 printed books (many annotated), and papers (including extensive correspondence with other book designers and artists); also private-press material, especially from the Officina Bodoni (q.v.), also book illustration, letter-design and calligraphy.

  • M. L. T[urner], ‘The John Ryder donation’, BLR 9 (1974), 67.
  • John Ryder, designer & art director for The Bodley Head. An exhibition at The Bodleian Library 1974–5, Oxford 1974.
  • C Hurst, ‘The Ryder archive’, BLR, 17 (2002), p353-4.

St. Amand, James, 1687-1754  Antiquary, bequeathed his manuscripts and printed books to the Bodleian (those not wanted were to go to Lincoln College). The 600 books taken by the Bodleian consist chiefly of contemporary editions of the classics and of the writings of modern Latin scholars (many had formerly belonged to Arthur Charlett, 1655-1722, Master of University College, 1692), with inter alia his notes on Theocritus and the Greek poets.


Savile, Henry, Sir, 1549-1622  Warden of Merton College (1585-1622), Provost of Eton (1596), founded lectureships in mathematics, one in astronomy, the other in geometry, in the University of Oxford. To each he attached a library, drawn from his own collections, covering the whole field of mathematics, and including the allied subjects of optics, harmonics, mechanics, cosmography, and the applied sciences of surveying, navigation, and fortification, and a quantity of fine printed books, chiefly of the 16th century. Nearly all of the Savilian professors added to the library: Sir Christopher Wren, holder of the Chair of Astronomy (1661-1723) left his astronomy and geometry books to the library when he retired from the Chair; and John Wallis, holder of the Chair of Geometry (1649-1703), gave some books during his lifetime, but many more were presented after his death by his son. Thus, the Savilian Library is a very complete collection of mathematical works up to the end of the 17th century, and contains some 18th and 19th century items. It was handed over to the Bodleian in 1884. The Wren and Wallis books are shelfmarked Savile A-H and K-M; Savile's original donations are in Savile N-Z, Aa and Bb. The collection totals c. 1,180 volumes.

  • Sir Henry Savile on Book Owners Online 
  • Craster, pp. 183-6.
  • C. J. Scriba, Studien zur Mathematik des John Wallis (1616-1703): Winkelteilungen, Kombinationslehre und Zahlentheoretische Probleme im Anhang die Bücher und Handschriften von Wallis in der Bodleian Library zu Oxford. (Boethius: Texte und Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der exakten Wissenschaften, Band 6). Wiesbaden, 1966. pp. 112-42: Anhang: die Bücher und Handschriften von John Wallis mit einem Überblick über die Geschichte der Savile Collection (jetzt Teil der Bodleian Library in Oxford). [Bodleian copy shelfmarked R.6.108m.]


Scalabrino, Giuseppe, born 1944 Former Professor of General Pathology, University of Milan. Collector of rare books, especially Italian literature. Presented 27 titles between 2019 and 2021, containing editions from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Includes the 1554 edition of the first part of the Novella of Matteo Bandello, and editions of the works of later writers, including Vittorio Alfieri, Ugo Foscolo, Alessandro Manzoni, and Giuseppe Parini, with the main focus being on Giacomo Leopardi. Some of the copies are signed by their author, and many are in contemporary bindings. Of especial interest is the copy of the first edition of Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso (Ferrara, 1516, Scalabrino d.1), one of only 13 copies now known to survive, in institutions, with a further 7 thought to be in private collections. Form of shelfmark: Scalabrino d.1

  • ‘Notable Accessions: the Collection of Giuseppe Scalabrino’, BLR (forthcoming)


Scicluna collection [formerly in Rhodes House Library]. Sir Hannibal Publius Scicluna (1880–1981), holder of many offices in the civil and academic administration of Malta (not least the librarianship of the Royal Malta Library), presented in 1937 his collection of Melitensia. It was described then as containing ‘some 1,200 works on the history of the Order of St John of Jerusalem and on the history of these islands’, including the most important works on the local archaeology, natural history, folklore, language, genealogy and travel, and the best such collection after that belonging to the Royal Malta Library. Sir Hannibal continued to donate books to the end of his life, and Lady Scicluna, who died in 1977, left a sum of money to develop the collection by appropriate purchases. The collection now numbers over 2,200 v, dating from the 16th-20th cent.

  • ‘Sir Hannibal Scicluna’, BLR 11 (1982), 2–3.


Selden, John, 1584-1654  Lawyer, antiquary, and Orientalist, bequeathed to the University of Oxford his non-medical Oriental manuscripts, his Greek MSS, together with some Latin MSS, and such of his Talmudical and Rabbinical books not already in the Bodleian. c. 8,000 volumes of his were presented by his executors in 1659. Selden's was the greatest single collection received in the 17th century. It was placed in the west wing of Duke Humfrey's Library, which became known as Selden End, and the books were subdivided by the four faculty subdivisions (theology, jurisprudence, medicine, and arts). In Selden's library (which was one of the two greatest single collections formed in England in the 17th century) can be distinguished four elements: books presented by continental scholars; gifts from English friends and admirers (historians, classical scholars, philosophers and scientists, literary men); books acquired second hand, after the deaths of earlier collectors (e.g. books from the libraries of Sir Robert Cotton, John Donne, and John Dee); and, by far the largest part of the library, thousands of volumes both English and foreign, purchased new, mostly from the book trade, though on occasion by private purchase from individual owners. His 15th century books number some 130. Included are books in Chinese, and the first book ever printed in Japan with moveable types and in western characters. The collection is rich in books that once belonged to famous owners, or that were given to him, many as author's presentation copies. Among the printed books many European languages are represented as well as Oriental languages. Much of the collection comprises 16th and 17th centuries works in classical and foreign languages. Though he owned few literary texts in English, some of these are of special interest. He was one of the earliest collectors of Caxtons, and the 13 he owned (all but one in English) were the first that came into the Bodleian. Other subjects represented are medicine, science, theology, history, law, and Hebrew literature. Some duplicates were disposed of when the collection first came to the library, some to Gloucester Cathedral library. Some additions, which were not Selden's own books, were made to the Selden collection during the 18th and 19th centuries.

  • John Selden on Wikipedia
  • John Selden on Book Owners Online 
  • J. Sparrow, 'The earlier owners of books in John Selden's library', BQR 6(1931), pp. 263-71.
  • D. M. Barratt, 'The library of John Selden and its later history', BLR 3(1951), pp. 128-42.
  • The Bodleian Library in the seventeenth century, guide to an exhibition. Oxford, 1951, pp. 43-7.
  • Macray, pp. 110-23.
  • Philip, pp. 47-8.
  • Rogers, pp. 125-132.
  • G. Parry, The trophies of time: English antiquaries of the seventeenth century (Oxford, 1995), esp. ch. 4.
  • G. J. Toomer, Eastern wisedome and learning (Oxford, 1996).
  • G. J. Toomer, John Selden: a life in scholarship, 2 vols (Oxford, 2009).






John Selden's motto, from the title page of A 2.2 Th.Seld.


Sermons  A collection of 570 English sermons of 17th-19th centuries, bound in 26 volumes, purchased in 1850.

  • Macray, p. 354.


Shackleton, Robert, 1919-1986  Bodley's Librarian 1966-79, Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature, Oxford University (1979-1986). A collection, bequeathed to the Bodleian, of c. 1,000 volumes by and about Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755), political philosopher. It includes virtually every important early edition of all of Montesquieu's works, and translations into other languages. In the section of over 500 volumes devoted to works by Montesquieu printed before 1920, there are editions of the collected works (250 volumes, including 24 18th century editions) and editions of the single works, including 36 editions of De l'esprit des lois (1748) in French and over 50 in translation: there are 16 different editions of De l'esprit des lois published before 1751, and numerous copies of the English translations produced before 1803 in places as varied as Aberdeen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, and Worcester, Massachusetts.

Among Shackleton's working and personal papers in the Bodleian is the manuscript of his Lyell Lectures on the bibliographical history of Montesquieu, based on his collection.

  • G. G. Barber, ['Robert Shackleton's collection of books by and about Montesquieu'], BLR XII, 4 (April 1987) 324-7.


Shrivenham Collection  Presented in 1945 by Shrivenham American University, the temporary American servicemen's University. A miscellaneous collection of over 400 textbooks of the 1930s and 1940s, including books on science, engineering, geography, American history, and literature.


Shuttleworth, Bertram  Presented 378 volumes including editions of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's plays, music for the plays and the songs in them, translations, and works on Sheridan, being editions and works not already in the Bodleian.

  • 'Gift from Mr Bertram Shuttleworth', BLR 6 (1958), p. 393.


[SIGMA]  A collection of over 2,600 volumes of the 16th-19th centuries in all languages and on all subjects added to the library, and shelved in Selden End and the Selden Galleries, between 1826 and 1850.


Slav. [Slavonic]  A collection of 190 Slavonic books and books on Eastern Europe (19th century).


Smith, George, 1871-1963  Of Great Bedwyn, presented to the Bodleian his collection of early newsbooks, corantos, and newspapers. The collection extends over the 16th-20th centuries, and includes rare 16th and 17th century newsbooks (including Civil War items), mainly English, though some items are foreign; 18th century local newspapers; proclamations; and broadsides.

  • 'George Smith donation', BLR 4 (1953), p. 290.


Stanbrook Abbey Press. A few books, but mostly broadsides, folders and single sheets, printed at the press of the Benedictine nuns of Stanbrook Abbey, Callow End, Worcestershire, 1956–90.

  • D. Butcher, The Stanbrook Abbey Press 1956–1990, Risbury, 1992.


Sutherland Collection  In 1795 Alexander Hendras Sutherland (1753-1820) started to grangerize Edward Hyde, First Earl of Clarendon's History of the Rebellion (1702-4) and Life of Clarendon (1759), and Bishop Gilbert Burnet's History of his own time (1722-34), with portraits of every person and place mentioned in the text or connected with the subject matter, and on his death (1820) the work was taken up by his widow. These grangerized copies, including both letterpress and engraved material, were presented by Mrs Sutherland to the Bodleian in 1837, but were transferred to the Ashmolean Museum (q.v.) in 1951.

Mrs Sutherland also presented to the Bodleian 35 illustrated biographical and historical works, many also enriched with additional engravings, and these remain in the Bodleian, shelfmarked Sutherland.

  • Mrs C. Sutherland, Catalogue of the Sutherland Collection, Oxford, 1837. Supplement, 1838.
  • A catalogue of books purchased for the Bodleian... 1843 [With] List of works presented to the library by Mrs Sutherland. Oxford, (1843?).
  • Mrs C. Sutherland, General Index to Prints in the Sutherland Collection, Bramley, 1849 [MS index written out by William Scott the Younger; on open shelves in Special Collections Reading Room, New Bodleian]
  • 'The transfer of the Sutherland Collection of prints and drawings', BLR 3(1951), pp. 115-16.
  • Macray, pp. 331-5
  • Craster, pp. 113, 314.

Tanner, Thomas, 1674-1735  Fellow of All Souls (1697), Canon of Christ Church (1724), Bishop of St Asaph (1732-5), antiquary, and ecclesiastical historian, bequeathed to the Bodleian his MSS and such printed books, not already in the library, as the library should think fit to accept. The printed books, c. 960 volumes containing c. 1,800 items, date from 15th-18th centuries, but are mainly 16th and 17th century. They include many early and important books, particularly examples of English 15th and 16th century printing, such as works printed by Caxton and theological works by the Reformers and their opponents, many being scarce tracts in the vernacular, and also Civil War and Interregnum pamphlets.

Tanner's books suffered damage from water when being moved from Norwich to Oxford in 1731. Most were uniformly bound (c. 1820), but none of the fly-leaves (which he may well have annotated) have survived.

  • Thomas Tanner on Wikipedia
  • Macray, pp. 209-12.
  • Philip, pp. 80-3.
  • M. J. Sommerlad, The historical and antiquarian interests of Thomas Tanner, 1674-1735, Unpubl. Oxford University thesis, 1962 (MS.D.Phil.d.2692).


Tauchnitz  The collection of British authors, subsequently of British and American authors (though from the first American authors were included) was launched by Bernhard Tauchnitz, Jr. in Leipzig in 1841. Its aim was the publication, by special arrangement with the author or his representative, of favourite works by well-known authors, mainly for continental circulation, and as far as possible simultaneously with their appearance in England or America. The Tauchnitz text sometimes represented an earlier stage of the author's text than in the English edition. The greater part of the series was devoted to fiction, but it also contained a large number of works of history, biography, science, philosophy, etc. By the end of the Second World War, the series comprised almost 5,500 volumes, issued in over 4,000,000 copies. In 1980 the Bodleian's holdings of the series were gathered together as a collection, arranged by Tauchnitz no., and at the end of 1982 totalled c. 1,300 volumes. It is the library's intention to add to them.

The library holds a series of catalogues of the Tauchnitz edition, published by the firm over the period 1907-37.

  • 'The Tauchnitz edition', BLR 10(1981), pp. 210-11.
  • W. B. Todd and A. Bowden, Tauchnitz international editions in English, 1844-1955: a bibliographical history. Bibliographical Society of America, New York, 1988.


Tercentenary A small collection of material relating to the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of Bodleian in 1902, and consisting of addresses of congratulation from other universities and learned societies, photographs, miscellaneous papers, etc. 


Th. [Theologia]  One part of the original Bodleian four-part classification by faculty or subject, in use in various forms over the period 1602-1789, and less frequently until about 1840. In the later years the distinction by faculty began to be disregarded and books were added where there was space on the shelves. The collection comprises c. 11,000 volumes of 16th-19th centuries.


Theol. [Theology]  c. 30 folios and large quartos on theological subjects received among the new books between 1861 and 1883.


[THETA]  Shelfmark used between 1840 and 1861 for multi-volume sets in quarto and octavo, between 1845 and 1861 for older books in folio, and between 1923 and 1936 for retrospective purchases of 18th and 19th century English books. Over 5,500 volumes.


Thorn-Drury, George, 1860-1931  Literary scholar, editor of the poets Randolph and Waller, and a specialist in the minor poets of the Restoration period. A collection of c. 70 volumes of late 17th century English poetical texts and also works of reference, all heavily annotated by him, many grangerized and indexed, preserving intact the unpublished portion of Thorn-Drury's life's work, and providing a mine of bibliographical information on the poetical writers of the Restoration and on those of an earlier and of a slightly later age. Purchased by the Friends of the Bodleian in 1931, with additions acquired later.

See also Harding, Walter Newton Henry


Todhunter-Allen  This collection of British atlases and maps, numbering 700 items, 17th to 19th century, was formerly in the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.


Toynbee, Paget Jackson, 1855-1932  Dante scholar, made donations to the Bodleian in 1912, 1913, 1916, 1917 and 1923. The 1912 donation, c. 360 works, includes numerous editions of the works of Boccaccio, mainly printed at Florence or Venice in 16th century, and of Petrarch; works printed at Strawberry Hill; works from the library of Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, and works on Walpole and the Strawberry Hill Press. The 1913 donation consists of c. 375 volumes, largely Italian translations of the classics, 16th-19th centuries, with many Aldine, Elzevier and Giunta editions. The 1916 donation consists of c. 350 volumes, mainly editions of Dante, 16th-19th centuries. The 1917 donation is of 700 volumes of Dante editions, translations and commentaries, many of 19th and 20th centuries. The 1923 donation is of c. 600 volumes of general Italian literature of 16th-20th centuries. He bequeathed the remaining part of his library, expressing the wish that all his books relating to Dante should be included in the selection made from it: c. 1,300 volumes were selected.

  • 'Chief accessions of printed books', BQR 2 (1918), p. 204.
  • 'The Toynbee collection' , Ibid, 4 (1923), pp. 74-5.
  • Craster, p. 282.
  • D. Zancani, ‘Paget Toynbee’s Dante collection’, in Italy’s Three Crowns: reading Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, ed. Zygmunt G. Barański and Martin McLaughlin (Oxford, 2007), 94–103.


Tractatus Lutherani  A collection of 538 volumes. Those numbered 1-126 consist of two series, each arranged chronologically: 84 volumes containing c. 1,670 Latin and German tracts by the German Reformers, 1518-50, including 640 by Luther, and a further collection of tracts ranging in date from 1498-1629. To these two series have been added (volumes numbered 127-538) works, mainly of 16th century, but also some of the 17th-19th centuries, including editions of Luther's works.

  • Some account of Dr May's of Augsburg collection of tracts on the Reformation. [With catalogue. Ms. Bodleian shelfmark R.6.212].
  • M. A. Pegg, A catalogue of German Reformation pamphlets, 1516-1546, in the libraries of Great Britain and Ireland. (Bibliotheca bibliographica Aureliana, 45.) [With locations in the Bodleian.] Baden Baden, 1973.


Trades  A collection of 40 folios and large quartos on commercial and practical subjects received among the new books between 1861 and 1883.


Turner, Michael L., 1935-2017 Collection given by Michael Turner, formerly Head of Special Collections (1975–8), and Head of Conservation, later Preservation Services (1978–2002), Bodleian Library. Consists of three sections: c.300 volumes of the works of Jessie Fothergill; war poetry, including c.200 v of the works of Edmund Blunden, and 70 of Siegfried Sassoon; and lists relating to the Stationers’ Company.

United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel [formerly in Rhodes House Library]. Approximately 9,000 books and many pamphlets (some of which are being added to the USPG archive), and ranging in date from the 16th to 20th centuries, from the Anglican mission formed in 1965. This mission represented the amalgamation of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (founded 1701 by Dr Thomas Bray (1656–1730) and others mainly to minister to English settlers in North America and elsewhere) and the Universities Mission to Central Africa (founded 1857 by Dr David Livingstone (1813–1873) as the Oxford and Cambridge Mission to Central Africa to promote religion and the extinction of the slave trade). Other missions were later absorbed and their collections are reflected in the library collections and archives. The library, the archives and all books published prior to 1946 were deposited in 1987, including the White Kennett (1660–1728) library, the general library, pamphlets and overseas periodicals. Cataloguing in progress.

  • C F Pascoe, Two hundred years of the SPG, 1901.
  • I Pridmore and M Holland, ‘The archives and library of the United Society...’, Library Materials on Africa, 8 (2) (1970), 105–8.
  • A G Blood, History of the UMCA 1857–1957, 1957. 3 v.
  • R Keen, Survey of the archives of missionary societies.

Walpole, Hugh Seymour, Sir, 1884-1941  Novelist, formed, and bequeathed to the Bodleian, a collection of printed books and MSS containing over 1,300 volumes, mainly first editions, of the works of English writers of fiction, poetry and belles lettres published in the 1890s, and including a few books published a little before and after the 1890s in order to give a complete survey of the works of authors whose most characteristic work fell within that period. While most of the books concern the coteries of second rank writers, notably that which came to centre on the Yellow Book, there are fine copies of first editions of the more important writers such as Hardy and Kipling. The collection includes copies autographed by their authors, or having some association with the leading literary figures of the time. Many have notes by Walpole. The MSS include autograph letters, the bulk of the MS material concerning three authors, William Watson, Stephen Phillips, and Frederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo.

  • 'Sir Hugh Walpole's "Nineties" collection', BLR 2,3(1942), pp. 40-1.
  • Craster, p. 279.


Wood, Anthony à, 1632-1695  Antiquary and historian. In 1695 Wood's MSS, and such of his printed books and pamphlets as were not already in that institution were deposited in the library of the Ashmolean Museum and were transferred to the Bodleian in 1860. There are c. 960 printed volumes, representing a far greater number of printed pieces [c. 6,000?], mainly of the 17th century, strong in books printed at Oxford or written by Oxford men, and in ephemeral and vernacular items not collected by the Bodleian in the 17th century. Included are: a series of almanacs dated 1629-95, the interleaved volumes 1657-95 with Wood's diaries written in them; newspapers (including many Civil War Mercuries and a complete run of the Oxford Gazette), and literary periodicals; pamphlets, mainly concerned with contemporary English and Irish history, also many Oxford pamphlets (1572-1691), often arranged by subject and in chronological order; chapbooks, ballads and poems; book catalogues and book prospectuses; 5 volumes of over 500 broadsheets. Wood's printed books have been defined as a printed archive rather than a library. His predominant concern was the publication of a history of Oxford, and he confined himself to the acquisition of materials of immediate and background relevance, e.g. ephemera not in the Bodleian.

  • Anthony Wood on Book Owners Online
  • Index to Wood's almanacs and diaries (alphabetical by author/title): (Bodleian shelfmark R.6.224).
  • Andrew Clark, 'The Wood collection of manuscripts and printed books', The life and times of Anthony Wood, described by himself, collected from his diaries [&c], Oxford Hist Soc, vol. 19, i (1891), pp. 6-21
  • Craster, pp. 68-9, 77.
  • Stanley Gillam, 'Anthony Wood's trustees and their friends', BLR, XV,3(October 1995) pp. 187-210.
  • Rogers, pp. 158-60.
  • R. T. Gunther, 'The Ashmole printed books', BQR 6 (1930), pp. 193-5.
  • Nicolas K. Kiessling, 'The location of two lost volumes of ballads, Wood 399 and Wood 400', BLR, XV,4(April 1996) pp. 260-291.
  • Nicolas K. Kiessling, The library of Anthony Wood, Oxford Bib Soc, 3rd ser, 5 (Oxford, 2001).
  • The broadside ballads from Wood's collection are catalogued and displayed by the Bodleian Ballads Project,

Vet. [Vetera]  Shelfmark used since 1937 for antiquarian accessions. Subdivided by country of printing (Great Britain and Ireland; Netherlands and Belgium; Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland; Germany, Austria and Switzerland; France; Italy; Spain and Portugal; Russia, Poland and Hungary; Rest of Europe; North America; Rest of the world) and by period of printing (the period subdivisions being 1501-1600; 1601-40; 1641-1700; 1701-50; 1751-1800; 1801-50; 1851-1900). The collection is estimated to include over 35,000 editions.


 [Yearbooks]  A collection of octavo volumes added in the years 1824-50, the shelfmark being the last two numerals of the year separated by a stop from a running number, the books in each year having been arranged in alphabetical order of author or title. Over 32,000 volumes dating 1824-49, the 2,000 volumes in 1850 having been moved to the current classification. Books on all subjects, including fiction. No serials.

Unnamed Collection  A one and two-figure classification scheme, running from 1 through 20, 30 etc to 90, was in use 1861-83 to classify older books purchased in octavo and small quarto into 10 subdivisions, including theology (over 1,300 volumes), medicine (58 volumes), arts and trades (39 volumes), law (260 volumes), now housed at Law Library, mathematics and physics (55 volumes), history (over 700 volumes), literature (270 volumes), poetry (190 volumes), and philology (180 volumes). Books of the 16th-19th centuries.