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Henry Minn Collection


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The Minn collection of photographic negatives (mainly glass plates) and prints comprises four different collections. Box numbers do not correspond to these groupings, the arrangement being largely pre-determined by the numbering system used for the negatives before the collection of modern prints was made in the 1960s-70s and early 1980s; in the following list, provenance (other than Minn himself) is given at the end of each entry in parentheses, if known or suspected.

The following list of the Minn collection describes the (main) contents of each box. All the places in the topographical photographs are individually indexed in the Bodleian's Views Index. Each index card gives the subject of the photograph, the date, size of the negative and shelf-mark. In the Views Index, references are to `Minn Box' (occasionally `Minn Coll.Neg.') plus number; please substitute `MS. Minn' for `Minn Box' when ordering items (the numbers remain the same). It is recommended that researchers consult the Minn albums (MSS. Top. Oxon. d.489-509) whenever possible in preference to the loose prints (MSS. Minn).

  1. The principal part of the collection consists of photographs (and original negatives) taken by Henry Minn (1870-1961), an Oxford watch maker, antiquary and, from 1935, a member of the Library's extra staff (see Bodleian Library Record VII (1962-7), pp. 65-6). This section contains photographs of Oxford City and University (MSS. Minn 1-8, 12-14, 15-18, 20-2, 28, 30-1, 33, 38-9, 42, 46, 55, 60-72, 74, 77, 83, 87-91, 94, 106, 108-9 116-17, 135, 146, 148-9, 159, 161, 166, 173, 205, 207, 214B, 216, 220a, 221a-e) with copies of prints and drawings (MSS. Minn 9-11, 15, 19, 96, 99-105, 115, 135, 137) and of maps and plans (MSS. Minn 79-81, 146, 197); Oxfordshire (MSS. Minn 32, 36, 38, 48, 56-8, 73a-b, 74, 85-6, 96, 108, 134, 147, 207-8, 217, 218f, 220c, 222d, 222h); and other counties (MSS. Minn 26, 35, 37, 116, 147, 158, 217, 218a-f, 220b-g, 220a-c, 222e-1).
  2. Photographs (from original plates) taken by Sarah Angelina (`Angie') Acland (1849-1930), daughter of Sir Henry Acland, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford. This section mainly consists of portraits of the Acland family, their friends and acquaintances, taken in the 1890s (MSS. Minn 92, 138/1, 144, 169-70, 176-7, 182-3, 188, 191, 196, 200-4, 206), but also includes views of Oxford (MSS. Minn 25, 140, 165 (?), 171-2, 184, 187, 189, 195, 204), Oxfordshire (MSS. Minn 163 (?), 175), Berkshire (MS. Minn 154), Devon (MS. Minn 199) and (?) North Africa (MS. Minn 110). This collection was given to Minn by Miss Acland in 1920.
  3. A collection of photographs (from original plates) by Henry Taunt (1842-1922), a celebrated local professional photographer; it mainly consists of local views, c. 1864-1909, many of great historic interest. A few copies of drawings are also included (MSS. Minn 84, 114 (?), 136, 151, 153, 155-7, 162, 164-5, 174(?), 198, 213).
  4. A small group of photographs (from original plates) belonging to C.F.Bell [possibly Charles Francis Bell (1871-1966), Keeper of Fine Art, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford]. The photographs are all of local views, c. 1860-85. It is not known how Minn acquired these plates (MSS. Minn 160, 214A(?), 215A, 215B).
  5. In addition there are: four albums of photographs, three containing topographical prints (MSS. Minn 223-5) and one containing identified and dated portraits by S.A.Acland, 1893-6 (MS. Minn 226) [cf. MS.Don.d.14]; a number of photographs, mainly of local views, for which no original negatives exist (MSS. Minn 227-30); and a number of duplicate photographs (all 10" 8", larger than the prints in the main collection) made by the Oxford Times from Minn's negatives (MSS. Minn 231-41).

The following shelfmarks are vacant: MSS Minn. 107, 167, 219.


  • Creation: 19th-20th century


24.1 Linear metres (241 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark e.g. MS. Minn 1, items 1-2].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Minn 1-22, 25-6, 28, 30-33, 35-39, 42, 46, 48, 55-58, 60-74, 77, 79-81, 83-92, 94, 96, 99-106, 108-9, 114-117, 134-138/1, 140, 144, 146-49, 151, 153-166, 169-177, 182-4, 187-9, 191, 195-208, 213-218, 220a-221e, 222a-41

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12493


The principal part of the collection consists of photographs (and original negatives) taken by Henry Minn. It also contains photographs taken by Sarah Angelina Acland and Henry Taunt. There are photographs belonging to C.F. Bell (possibly Charles Francis Bell).

Biographical / Historical

Henry Minn (1870-1961) was an Oxford watch maker, antiquary and, from 1935, a member of the Bodleian Library's extra staff. Sarah Angelina ('Angie') Acland (1849-1930) was the daughter of Sir Henry Acland, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford. Henry Taunt (1842-1922) was a celebrated local professional photographer. Charles Francis Bell (1871-1966) was Keeper of Fine Art, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 1909-31.

Custodial History

It would appear that Minn purchased some of the plates directly from Taunt, but whether all were acquired in this way is not known. Miss Acland gave her collection to Minn in 1920.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was bequeathed to the Library by Minn in 1963.

Existence and Location of Copies

A duplicate set of modern prints (from the original negatives) of Oxford and Oxfordshire views was given to Oxford Central Library, Local History Collections (now Centre for Oxfordshire Studies) 1984-7, and has been merged into their existing holdings of photographs.

Related Materials

Papers of Henry Minn, mainly transcripts and extracts from records, with some records of Oxford societies and manuscripts collected by Minn, are MSS. Top. Oxon. b. 290, c. 763-6, d. 944-67, e. 618-26, f. 97-8, g. 21.

Topographical drawings collected in two guard-books by Minn are MSS Top. gen. a. 22; Top. Oxon. a. 86.

An earlier set of contact prints of many of the topographical views of Oxford City and the immediate neighbourhood can be found in the Minn albums. These include annotations and some inserted material (such as original drawings, plans and newspaper cuttings); the arrangement of the volumes is based on the old ward boundaries within the city walls. Existing negative numbers are noted against the photographs (MSS. Top. Oxon. d. 489-509). Some Minn photographs can also be found in albums containing notes for a history of Cassington (MSS. Top. Oxon. d. 512-13) and accounts of `Going the Franchise' (MS. Top. Oxon. d.309), and amongst his manuscripts bequeathed to the Library (see under MS Top. Oxon.b. 290, etc.).

The main collection of Taunt photographs is held by the Centre for Oxfordshire Studies (prints) and the National Monuments Record, Swindon (plates).

The negatives in the Minn collection are kept separately from the prints; the negatives in most cases have the same numbers as the prints (e.g. MS. Minn 1/1 indicates a print, and Minn Coll. Neg. 1/1 its negative). Lantern and microscope slides, mainly from the Acland collection, were transferred to the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, in 1988.

Separated Materials

The following material has been transferred to the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford: MSS. Minn 23-24, 27, 29, 29a, 34, 40-1, 43-5, 47, 49a-54a, 59, 75-6, 78, 82, 93, 95, 97-8, 110a-113, 118-33, 183/2-39, 141-3, 145, 150, 152, 168, 178-81, 185-6, 190, 192-4, 209-12, 221f.


  • A selection of Minn photographs has been reproduced in C.W. Judge's Oxford Past and Present(Oxford, 1970).
Henry Minn Collection
EAD version 2017
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom