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Malone Manuscripts


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Manuscripts and a few printed books collected by Malone, relating to poetry and drama.


  • Creation: c.1600-19th cent.


3.41 Linear metres (31 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Latin
  • Greek, Ancient (to 1453)
  • Italian

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Malone 1].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

Arch. G c.9; Mal. 235, 238, 531, 571; MSS. Malone 1-24, 32

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 13204


Manuscripts collected by Edmond Malone (1741-1812) critic and author

Biographical / Historical

Edmond Malone (1741-1812), critic and author, was born in at Dublin, and graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1762. In 1763 he entered the society of the Inner Temple in London, and soon became a friend of Johnson, Reynolds, Boswell, Burke, and other literary celebrities. His interest in Shakespeare dates from 1777, and resulted in an edition of his works in 1790 (11 volumes) and many corrections and additions for a new issue which only came out after his death, in 1821 (21 volumes). In connection with Shakespeare, Malone systematically purchased early English plays and formed a very large and valuable collection. In 1782 he exposed Chatterton's Rowley poems, and in 1796 Ireland's Shakespeare forgeries. He issued an edition of Dryden in 1800. On 5 July 1793 he received the honorary degree of DCL at Oxford, having in that year been engaged in research at the Ashmolean Museum and Bodleian. 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. IV, nos. 20549-78.

Custodial History

Malone died on 25 April 1812 and left his library to his brother, Lord Sunderlin.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

In 1815 Lord Sunderlin presented part of the collection to the Library, but the gift was not actually received until 1821, when James Boswell the younger had brought out the posthumous edition of Malone's Shakespeare.

Related Materials

See also Malone Papers, (Malone 1046-58; MSS. Malone 29, 38-39, 43) and Additional Papers of Edmond Malone, (MSS. Malone 31, 36-37, 40-41).

Malone Manuscripts
Collection Level Description by Emily Tarrant; EAD version 2020 by Kelly Burchmore
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