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Manuscripts collected by John Sparrow, 15th - 20th cent.


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A collection of sixty manuscripts, 15th-20th cent.


  1. 9 Italian manuscripts, 15th-17th cent.
  2. 2 boxes of correspondence of Samuel Parr (1747-1845), pedagogue and classical scholar.
  3. Literary manuscripts and correspondence of: Abraham Cowley (1618-67); William Lisle Bowles (1762-1850); Eyre Crowe (1799-1869); Sidney Smith (1771-1845); Bridges; Yeats; Blunden; Sassoon; Edith Sitwell.

This is a catalogue of only part of the collection bequeathed to the Library by John Sparrow.


  • Creation: 15th-20th cent.


1.3 Linear metres (13 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Italian

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Don. d. 209, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Don. c. 187, 201, 203-205, d. 208-210, e. 176, 211-214

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 11577


Collection of sixty manuscripts collected by John Sparrow. Includes literary manuscripts, correspondence and personal papers.

Biographical / Historical

John Hanbury Angus Sparrow (1906-1992) was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, where he studied Classics, obtaining firsts in Honour Moderations (1927) and Literae Humaniores (1929). He was elected a Prize Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford in 1929, and won the Eldon Law scholarship. He was called to the Bar in 1931 and pursued a career in law until the outbreak of the Second World War when he enlisted as a private soldier in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He was later commissioned in the Coldstream Guards and moved to the Home Office in 1941. By the end of the war he was assistant adjutant-general with responsibility for morale. He returned to the Bar in 1946 and continued to practise until his appointment as Warden of All Souls College, Oxford, in 1952. He remained Warden for the next 25 years, retiring in 1977. He was a lifelong bibliophile and became a patron of the Oxford Society of Bibliophiles.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequeathed to the Library by John Sparrow, Apr. 1992.

Related Materials

Italian manuscripts collected by John Sparrow are MSS. Sparrow 1-4 and are described in Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries

Catalogue of manuscripts collected by John Sparrow, 15th-20th cent.
Finding aid prepared by Catherine Parker
2003, 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