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Bernard Collection


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The collection consists of 170 items, arranged as follows:
  1. Bernard 'sua manu' [written in his own hand]
  2. Bernard Hebrew
  3. Bernard Arabic
  4. Bernard Turkish
  5. Bernard 'Arabia'
  6. Bernard Chinese
  7. Bernard Siamese
  8. Bernard Cingalese
  9. Bernard Coptic
  10. Bernard Greek
  11. Bernard Russian
  12. Bernard French
  13. Bernard Latin


  • 10th-17th century


18.04 linear metres (164 boxes (need missing Or sm's)))

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Latin
  • Arabic
  • Turkish
  • Chinese
  • Coptic
  • Greek, Modern (1453-)
  • Russian
  • French
  • Polish
  • Sinhala; Sinhalese
  • Thai

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Arab. f. 5].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Arab. c. 40, f. 5, f. 78; Auct. D. 1. 14, D. 4. 24; Auct. E. 1. 8, E. 4. 7, E. 4. 19-21; Auct. F. Infra. 1. 7-11, F. Infra. 2. 1-2; Auct. F. 1. 16, F. 1. 18, F. 2. 1-6, F. 2. 8-9, F. 2. 11-12, F. 2. 15, F. 2. 17, F. 2. 28, F. 3. 1, F. 3. 19-22, F. 4. 2, F. 4. 10-11, F. 4. 14, F. 4. 17-31, F. 4. 34, F. 5. 1-3, F. 5. 22, F. 6. 7-9, F. 6. 16-21; Bodl. 37-38, 171, 308-309, 224, 232, 517, 615, 635, 696, 886; Bodl. Or. 13, 18, 23, 79, 96-97, 109, 127-128, 137, 144, 147, 198, 201, 204, 218, 250, 325, 346, 389, 392, 396, 449, 455-456, 461, 472, 480, 505, 515, 516, 518, 558, 562, 565-566, 573, 575; Bodl. Rolls 12; Chin. d. 2; Eng. misc. f. 1; Gr. class. e. 1; Gr. misc. e. 2, f. 1; Hunt 457; Lat. class. e. 2; Lat. misc. b. 1, d. 1-3, c. 1, e. 1-13, 14-15, f. 1-11, g. 1; Lat. th. e.l, f. 1; Marsh 6; Russ. e. 1; Siam. d. 1; MS. Sinh. d. 1.

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 18376


Bernard Collection

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Edward Bernard was born 2 May, 1638: educated at Merchant Taylors' School and St. John's College, Oxford (matr. 25 July, 1655), of which College he became a Fellow in 1658: Savilian Professor of Astronomy 1673-91: died 12 Jan. 1696/7). In March 1682/3 he attended the Nicolas Heinsius sale at Leyden, and bought many of his MSS.: and in 1696 at the Golius sale he purchased largely for Archbishop Narcissus Marsh. Dr. Bernard was the chief editor of the well-known Old Catalogue of Manuscripts (Catalogus librorum manuscriptorum Angliæ et Hiberniæ, Oxoniæ, 1697, fol.), published in 1698, and in tom. ii. p. 226, is a list of his own MSS. exclusive of those written with his own hand, occupying nos. 7347-7564; but the MSS. purchased for the Bodleian are only 170 in number, and the two lists differ considerably in detail.

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. III, nos. 8717-8886.

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

Neubauer, Adolf, and A. E. Cowley, Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library and in the College Libraries of Oxford : Including Mss. in Other Languages ... Written with Hebrew Characters, or Relating to the Hebrew Language or Literature, and a Few Samaritan Mss (Oxford, 1886).

Beeston, A. F. L, H. Ethé and E. Sachau, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstânî, and Pushtû manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (3 vols., Oxford, 1889-1953).

For a full description in Latin, see:Uri, J., Bibliothecæ Bodleianæ Codicum Manuscriptorum Orientalium, Videlicet Hebraicorum, Chaldaicorum, Syriacorum, Æthiopicorum, Arabicorum, Persicorum, Turcicorum, Copticorumque Catalogus, Jussu Curatorum Preli Academici a Joanne Uri Confectus. Pars Prima (1 vol., Oxford, 1787).

For a full description in Latin, see:Nicholl, A., and E. B. Pusey, Catalogi Codicum Manuscriptorum Orientalium Bibliothecae Bodleianae Pars Secunda Arabicos Complectens...: Editionem Absolvit Et Catalogum Urianum (1 vol., Oxford, 1821).

Custodial History

The MSS. were numbered, referenced, and shortly catalogued in MS. soon after they arrived in the Library, and in part also shortly indexed. The Greek were fully catalogued and indexed in print in Mr. Coxe's Catalogue in 1853, and most of the Oriental in Uri and Nicoll's Catalogues (1788-1835).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Dr. Bernard by a will made 17 Sept. 1696 left all his books, printed and manuscript, to his wife, but he expressed a hope that the Bodleian would buy them. Accordingly in Sept. 1697 many of his printed books were bought by the Bodleian from Mrs. Bernard for £140: and in 1698 the University purchased the collection of MSS. (both Bernard's own notes and writings, and other) and printed books with MS. collations for £200.

These items were recorded in the Summary Catalogue as "unidentified" or "not found" at the time of cataloguing:
  1. SC no. 8795: 'Pars computi Mercatorum pro variis Mercibus ab urbe Alexandria. Schedula chartacea in folio Arabicè'
  2. SC no. 8812: 'Tabula chorographica totius regni Chinensis, e Bodleianâ' is recorded as 'not found'
This item was recorded in the Summary Catalogue as "In the librarian's study" at the time of cataloguing and is now missing:
  1. SC no. 8717: Index to collection, written in 1696 by E. Bernard. 'Librorum manuscriptorum Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae atque externarum aliquot bibliothecarum Index secundum alphabetum. Edvardus Bernardus construxit. Oxonii, A.D. mdcxcvi.' At fol. 4 is an (inserted) list of five Oriental MSS. presented to the Bodleian by Moses Amyraldus (Amyrault), 9 July, 1700. The Index has no relation to the printed index of Bernard's 'Old Catalogue' of 1697. Once in two volumes (see fol. 314).


  • See Wood's Ath. Oxon. iv. 701 (where there is a curious account by H. Wanley of the negotiations for the purchase of Bernard's books), Dict. of Nat. Biogr., etc.
Bernard Collection
Collection Level Description and 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