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Canonici Manuscripts


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Manuscripts collected by Canonici, consisting of:

  1. Greek
  2. Latin Classics
  3. Latin Bibles
  4. Latin Patristic and Ecclesiastical
  5. Liturgical
  6. Miscellaneous
  7. Italian
  8. Oriental


  • Creation: 8th-18th century


146.08 Linear metres (1328 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • Latin
  • Greek, Ancient (to 1453)
  • French
  • Italian
  • Dutch; Flemish
  • Church Slavic; Old Slavonic; Church Slavonic; Old Bulgarian; Old Church Slavonic
  • Arabic
  • Hebrew
  • Tamil
  • Turkish
  • Persian
  • Syriac
  • Armenian

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Canon. (see below for full shelfmarks)].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Canon. Bibl. Lat. 1-93; Canon. Class. Lat. 1-311; Canon. Gr. 1-128; Canon. Ital. 1-301; MSS. Canon. Liturg. 1-3, 5, 8-13, 15-18, 20-25, 28, 30-37, 43, 49, 55, 63, 72, 75-76, 91-93, 99, 105, 108, 114, 116, 118, 123-126, 128-129, 131, 134-143, 146-148, 150-151, 155-159, 161-172, 175, 178, 183, 188, 190-192, 197, 199-227, 229, 231, 233, 237, 239-249, 251-252, 254-255, 257-279, 281, 283-287, 289-294, 296-297, 301, 305-306, 308, 311-334, 336, 339-356, 358-364, 366-371, 373-380, 382-389, 391-393, 395, 410, 411-414; Canon. Misc. 1-576; Canon. Or. 1-141; Canon. Pat. Lat. 1-232

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12847


Manuscripts of Matteo Luigi Canonici, Jesuit.

Biographical / Historical

Matteo Luigi Canonici was born at Venice on 5 August 1727 and became a Jesuit in 1743. His natural bent was towards history and antiquities, and when Accademico of the College of St. Catherine at Parma he formed a first collection of medals and books, but in 1768, when the Jesuit Order was suppressed in the kingdom of Naples and Duchy of Parma, it was confiscated. Canonici, who had retired to Bologna, only received a small sum of money in return. Next he collected pictures, but this scandalized his superiors, and he was forced to get rid of them, obtaining in exchange a museum of medals. In 1773 a further suppression of the Order took place, and Canonici retired to Venice, where he set himself to study history, and collected coins, statuary, printed books and manuscripts, chiefly during autumn journeys to Rome, Naples, Florence or elsewhere. He acquired for instance en bloc the collections of the Duke of Modena, and the library of Giacomo Soranzo of Venice, which was itself partly derived from the Biblioteca Recanati. He always holed that the Jesuits would be restored, and inteded in that case to make them his heir, but eventually died at Treviso, in October 1805, without making a will.

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. IV, nos. 18454-20496, 20638-41.

For a full description of Greek, Classical Latin and Miscellaneous MSS. in Latin see: Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae pars Tertia Codices Graecos Et Latinos Canonicianos (Oxford, 1854)

Allessandro Mortara, Catalogo dei manoscritti italiani che sotto la denominazione di Codici Canoniciani Italici si conservano nella Biblioteca a Oxford (Oxford, 1864). Our best descriptions for medieval items in this collection are in Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries under MSS. Canon Bibl. Lat., MSS. Canon Class. Lat., MSS. Canon Gr., MSS. Canon Ital., MSS. Canon Liturg., MSS. Canon Misc., and MSS. Canon Pat. Lat.

Custodial History

Canonici's collections passed to his brother Giuseppe, and on his death in 1807 to Giovanni Perissinotti and Girolamo Cardina, who divided them. To the former fell the manuscripts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Library purchased the greater part of the manuscripts in 1817, for £5444 5s, or including incidental expenses about £6030, the largest single purchase ever made by the Library.

Canonici Manuscripts
Collection Level Description by Emily Tarrant; EAD version 2020 by Kelly Burchmore and Alice Whichelow
EAD version 2020
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom