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Sir Thomas Bodley's letters to Dr. Thomas James

 Single Item
MS. Bodl. 699
Held at the Weston Library

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Digital surrogate of Sir Thomas Bodley's letters to Dr. Thomas James

Digital surrogate of Sir Thomas Bodley's letters to Dr. Thomas James
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Sir Thomas Bodley's letters to dr. Thomas James, the first librarian of the Bodleian, 1599-1612, with a few others from the same. The whole volume was printed by Thomas Hearne, and published in London in 1703 under the title Reliquiæ Bodleianæ, but unfortunately the editor did not unravel the chronological sequence (Bodley very seldom gives the year in his dating), and printed the letters in the haphazard order in which they were at that time bound. They were re-bound in 1898 in chronological order, as determined by the rev. W. D. Macray: and form the chief material for the early history of the Library.

There are three numberings:

  1. An old one (about 1655 ?) 1-237, of which no. 9 is lost, and 45, 143, 171 are mere errors, or have been long lost: while 84 (from Laurence Bodley) is now at fol. 114 in MS. Bodl. 699*
  2. Hearne's, 1-231 of which 152 and 179 are non-existent, and 106, 165 are doubled
  3. The new numbering 1-230; 24, 41, 104, 117 being doubled, so that there are 234 letters now in the volume, of which two, nos. 117b, 221 (foll. 187, 324), were not printed by Hearne, and no. 24a (fol. 46) is from Bodley to dr. George Rives, the Vice-Chancellor, March 27, 1602.


  • Creation: Written A.D. 1599-1612 by Sir Thomas Bodley


338 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English

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Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Bodl. 699, fols. 1-2]

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MS. Bodl. 699

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 18115


Sir Thomas Bodley's letters to Dr. Thomas James

Biographical / Historical

Sir Thomas Bodley (1545-1613) was a diplomat and scholar. He founded the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Dr. Thomas James (c. 1573-1629) was Sub Dean of Wells and the Bodleian's first librarian, 1599-1612.

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. II, no. 2541

Custodial History

Manuscript 3025 acquired by the Bodleian Library

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presumably these letters came to the Library at dr. James's death in 1629; if not in 1620, when he resigned his Librarianship.

Physical Facet

On paper


13 3/8 × 9 1/2 in.

Sir Thomas Bodley's letters to Dr. Thomas James
EAD version 2020 by Alice Whichelow
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom