Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Electronic Catalogue of
Medieval & Renaissance

Conventions Manuscript Collections


The Electronic Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, currently under development, will contain short, searchable descriptions for all Medieval and Renaissance Western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. The descriptions, in turn, will link to: images of corresponding pages from the Quarto and Summary catalogues; selected images of manuscript pages; and a bibliography of related publications. The catalogue was funded by The Getty Grant Program and will be based within the Bodleian Library's Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

The electronic catalogue aims to bring together information and scholarship from a variety of resources. The short descriptions are based primarily on descriptions in the Quarto and Summary Catalogue, as well as on descriptions in O. Pächt and J.J.G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1966-1973) and Irmgard Hutter, Corpus der byzantinischen Miniaturenhandschriften, I: Oxford, Bodleian Library, 3 vols. in 4 (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1977-1982). The manuscript bibliographies attached to each record are derived from two sources compiled by staff within the Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts: the first is a card-index bibliography which has been retrospectively converted into electronic form; and the second is an unpublished electronic bibliography which has been maintained for the last ten years. The bibliography will continue to be regularly updated during the development of the electronic catalogue and beyond. The catalogue also provides access to full descriptions from the Catalogue of the medieval and renaissance manuscripts c.1300-c.1500 from the collection of T. R. Buchanan in the Bodleian Library, Oxford compiled by P. J. Kidd and published in print and electronic form in 2000. Records for manuscripts acquired by the Library after 1916 and not included in printed catalogues are based on unpublished descriptions currently only available for consultation in the Library and on P. J. Kidd's Checklist of medieval Western manuscripts acquired 1916 -, compiled 1996-2000.


Most records of the electronic catalogue presently have the following fields: Shelfmark, Summary Catalogue no., Summary of contents, Language, Origin, Date, Material and Decoration. The descriptions of decoration refer to O. Pächt and J.J.G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1966-73) or Irmgard Hutter, Corpus der byzantinischen Miniaturenhandschriften, I: Oxford, Bodleian Library, 3 vols. in 4 (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1977-1982). (For example, 'Hutter iii. 31' is a reference to description 31 in the third volume of the Bodleian section of the Corpus). More recent identifications of dates, places of origin and items of contents of illuminated manuscripts by O. Pächt and J.J.G. Alexander and by Irmgard Hutter are used in preference to earlier identifications in the Summary and Quarto catalogues. A sample description is reproduced below:

Shelfmark MS. Auct. D. 1. 17
Summary Catalogue no. 3497
Summary of contents Bible
Language Latin
Origin French
Date 13th century, end
Material parchment
Decoration Fine and good historiated borders, historiated and other initials. (P&A i. 543, pl. XLII)

Where the record is describing a composite manuscript, an additional field 'Composite' is used to identify the number of parts, sometimes with their folio references, for example:

Composite two parts


Composite fols. 1-181 || fols. 182-240

In the various fields, details of the individual parts of composite manuscripts are presented in order of their occurrence and separated by double bars, for example:

Shelfmark MS. Auct. D. 1. 6
Summary Catalogue no. 3551
Composite fols. 1-181 || fols. 182-240
Summary of contents Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke, Job, with gloss. || Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiasticus, Song of Songs with gloss
Language Latin
Origin English
Date 13th century, middle || 13th century, first half
Material parchment
Decoration Fleuronnée initials. (P&A iii. 420) || Good borders with initials. (P&A iii. 397)

If information for all parts of a composite manuscript is identical in a particular field, it is entered only once (without double bars), as in 'Latin', 'English' and 'parchment' in the record above.


The catalogue is currently incomplete and will be published in instalments during the life of the Project between 2002 and 2004. Descriptions drawn from the Quarto and Summary Catalogues may contain supplementary information based on recent scholarship where appropriate. It is expected that the electronic descriptions will be extended and checked against manuscripts and recent secondary literature in a follow-up project.

By their nature, the sets of bibliographic references, manuscript by manuscript, can never be guaranteed complete. Those references converted from hand- or type-written index cards may contain errors because of the particular complexity of their source. We are making them available in the belief that they provide indispensable information and can be used in their present state.

Manuscript Collections

Dep. (Deposit)
MSS. Add. (Additional)
MSS. Arch. Selden. (Archivum Seldenianum): see MSS. Selden
MSS. Ashmole
MSS. Auct. (Auctarium)
MSS. Barlow
MSS. Barocci
MSS. Bodl. (Bodley)
MSS. Bowyer
Brewster Manuscripts (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Buchanan
MSS. Bywater
MSS. Bywater adds
MSS. Canon. (Canonici)
MSS. Carte
MSS. Charters Oxon.
MSS. Cherry
MSS. E. D. Clarke
MSS. Cromwell (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Digby
MSS. Dodsworth
MSS. Don. (Donation)
MSS. D'Orville
MSS. Douce
MSS. Dugdale
MSS. Duke Humfrey
MSS. Dutch
MSS. e Mus. (e Musaeo)
MSS. Eng. (English)
MSS. Fairfax
MSS. Fell
MSS. Finch
MSS. Fr. (French)
MSS. Germ. (German)
Facsimile of Greek Gospel Lectionary, Venice, S. Giorgio dei Greci (Collection Level Description)
Goring Priory Charters (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Gough
Manorial Records of Great Cressingham (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Greaves
MSS. Gr. (Greek)
MSS. Hamilton
MSS. Hatton
Hartwell Park Deeds (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Holkham
MSS. Holmes
MSS. Icel. (Icelandic)
MSS. Ir. (Irish)
MSS. Ital. (Italian)
MSS. James
MSS. Jones
MSS. Junius
MSS. Kennicott
Microfilms of Lambeth Palace Library Medieval Manuscripts (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Lat. (Latin)
MSS. Laud
Microfilms of Lincoln Cathedral Chapter Library Medieval Manuscripts (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Liturg. (Liturgical)
MSS. Lyell
MSS. Marshall
Photostats of Manuscripts of Marsilius of Padua, Defensor pacis (Collection Level Description)
Thomas Martin Collection (Collection Level Description)
MS. Michael
Microfilms of Medieval Manuscripts [12th-14th cent.] (Collection Level Description)
Photographs of Vatican Regin. lat. 317, 'Missale Gothicum' (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Montagu
Photostats of Manuscripts of Bernard of Morlaix, De contemptu mundi (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Mus. (Music)
Normandy Papers (Collection Level Description)
Bailiff's Account for Northgate Hundred in Oxford and An Oxford City Court Roll (Collection Level Description)
North Manuscripts (Collection Level Description)
Microfilm of part of the Olomouc Bible (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Radcliffe Trust
MSS. Rawl. (Rawlinson)
MSS. Roe
Photostats of Bologna, Biblioteca Universitaria 2565, Sarum Missal (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Savile
MSS. Selden
Photocopies of 12th and 13th cent. Manuscripts containing Commentaries on the Gospels Annotated by Miss B. Smalley (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Span. (Spanish)
Microfilms of the Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts of St. John's College, Oxford (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Tanner
Court Rolls of the Manor of Taynton, Oxfordshire (Collection Level Description)
Microfilms of Thomas of Sutton's De productione formae substantialis (13th century original) (Collection Level Description)
MSS. Top. (Topography)
Court Rolls of the Manor of Upton, Oxfordshire (Collection Level Description)
Windrush Deeds
MSS. Wood
Microfilms of Worcester Cathedral Library Medieval Manuscripts (Collection Level Description)
X-rays of Anglo-Saxon and 12th-century English Bookbindings (Collection Level Description)

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Last modified: Wednesday 22 June 2011 by LwM