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The Sonnets of William Shakespeare in Calligraphy by Oxford Scribes

 Single Item
MS. 6494

  • Request

Each sonnet rests in a Japanese decorated paper folder and is housed in the bespoke oak chest with five drawers and doors locked with key.

  1. Drawer 1: title page, introduction and sonnets 1-30
  2. Drawer 2: sonnets 31-62
  3. Drawer 3: sonnets 63-95
  4. Drawer 4: sonnets 96-124
  5. Drawer 5: sonnets 125-154


  • Creation: 1999-2000


1 box

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 6494].

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MS. 6494

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6494


The Sonnets of William Shakespeare in calligraphy by Oxford Scribes.

Biographical / Historical

Oxford Scribes was formed in 1984 by a small group of Oxfordshire calligraphers led by Isabelle Spencer. Their aim was to organise regular talks, exhibitions and calligraphy workshops and the group grew rapidly in numbers and reputation, attracting both amateurs and professionals.

In 1999 Colin and Charlotte Franklin invited Oxford Scribes to create calligraphy versions of each of Shakespeare's 154 sonnets. The only requirements were the retention of the original spelling, as in the first edition of 1609, and the use of hand-made paper which was provided. The project was organised by Isabelle Spencer, Sylvia Thomas and Tony Witney and was completed within two years with 48 calligraphers contributing sonnets in a wide range of styles. Dennis Jenkins made a small oak chest with five drawers in which the sonnets are housed.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Bodleian Library by Colin Franklin in 2010.

Catalogue of The Sonnets of William Shakespeare in Calligraphy by Oxford Scribes
Finding aid prepared by Lucy McCann
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom