Balliol College Archives & Manuscripts

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Ancient manuscripts: Introduction

Balliol has several hundred medieval manuscript books, most of which have been here since the Middle Ages as part of the working library (though normally accessible only to Fellows until the 19th century!) More than half of the collection was the private library and gift to Balliol of one man, William Gray, Bishop of Ely (d.1478): 'by far the finest, as well as the largest, private collection to survive in England from the Middle Ages' (R.W.Hunt VCH Oxfordshire iii 82). Since the Middle Ages, the collection has expanded to include medieval manuscripts given as antiquarian donations; early modern manuscript volumes and letters; and non-western manuscript material in a wide variety of languages, scripts, dates and physical formats, gathered together under the heading of oriental manuscripts.

- Anna Sander

You do not need to request permission to download or print one copy of any of the images on these pages for your personal private study or research purposes.
You do need to request permission in writing to use any of these images for any publication in any format, including any use on a website.

The archives and manuscripts of Balliol College are open by appointment to enquirers in person at the Historic Collections Centre in St Cross Church, Holywell.
Enquiries should be sent in writing (email or post).
There is no charge for Archive enquiries, but donations for Archive purposes are always appreciated.
Updated 10.v.17
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