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Wood Manuscripts


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Wood's manuscripts are arranged into four collections:

  1. MSS. Wood - antiquarian manuscripts
  2. MSS. Wood empt. - medieval manuscripts
  3. MSS. Wood donat. - Gerard Langbaine's Adversaria
  4. MSS. Wood Additional - Oxford history


  • Creation: 11th-17th century


18.48 Linear metres (168 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Latin
  • French
  • Greek, Modern (1453-)

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Wood F. 1, pp. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Add. C. 173; Ashm. Mus. c. 1; Wood B. 1-15, C. 1-12, C. 52-3, D. 1-5, D. 7-20, D. 32-3, E. 1-12, E. 14, E. 29, E. 32-3, F. 1-21, F. 23-37, F. 39-51; Wood donat. 1-9; Wood empt. 1-25; Wood Rolls 1

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 16118


Anthony À Wood's manuscript collection.

Biographical / Historical

Anthony À Wood was born on 17 December 1632. He was educated at New College School, Thame School, and Merton College, Oxford (Commoner 1647, BA 1652, MA 1655). He did not, however, distinguish himself in academic pursuits and published nothing until late in life. His manuscript 'History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford' was bought by the University Press, which published it in a Latin translation as Historia et Antiquitates Universitatis Oxoniensis (1674). Wood, dissatisfied with this, continued to work at the English copy, which was eventually published in a longer form by John Gutch in 1786-90. In 1691-2 he produced his Athenae Oxonienses, a biographical dictionary of Oxford writers and bishops. Next year he was exiled from the University for his libel on the Earl of Clarendon's father, but he recanted and was allowed to return. He died on 29 November 1695. Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

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, nos. 8463-8622 and vol. V, nos. 25206-25226.

For a full description in Latin for the Greek material in MSS. Wood donat. see, Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae pars prima recensionem codicum Graecorum continens (Oxford, 1853, reprinted with corrections by H. O. Coxe, Oxford, 1969).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The manuscripts were acquired by the Library, 1690-1860:

  1. MSS. Wood was bequeathed in November 1695 with 970 printed books. They were housed in the Ashmolean until their transference to Bodley in 1860.
  2. MSS. Wood empt. was bought by the library in 1690 for £30. Some of them had been acquired by Wood from his friend Ralph Sheldon of Beoley.
  3. MSS. Wood donat. was bequeathed by Wood in 1695.
  4. MSS. Wood Additional were those MSS. which escaped notice in the Old Catalogue, as well as some later acquisitions placed in the Wood Collection.

This item is recorded in the Summary Catalogue as "missing" at time of cataloguing: 8484.


  • A full account of the collection can be found in Andrew Clark, Life and Times of Anthony Wood, vols. i (1891), pp. 6-21; iv (1895), pp. 228-50 (Oxford Historical Society, vols. xix, xxx).
Wood Manuscripts
Collection Level Description by Emily Tarrant; EAD version 2020 by 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