Early printed collection (pre-1830)

Thanks to the generosity of our founder and others, we have up to 20,000 volumes printed before 1830. These include:

  • Early editions of the classics
  • Early works on science
  • Extensive Italian works from the bequest of Baron Coleraine
  • Many 16th, 17th and 18th century political, historical and theological tracts
  • Works on medieval Latin from the library of Sir Roger Mynors

Some but not all are listed online.

How to find early printed books held by Corpus

    • The SOLO catalogue contains details of well over half of the early printed books at Corpus.
    • English Short Title Catalogue – ESTC
      Extensive descriptions and holdings information for letterpress materials printed in Great Britain or any of its dependencies in any language, and for materials printed in English anywhere else in the world. Coverage from the beginnings of print to 1800, including all recorded English monographs printed between 1475-1700. The online version is updated daily – Oxford University members search for ‘ESTC' on SOLO.
    • Incunabula Short Title Catalogue – ISTC
      A record of nearly every item printed from movable type before 1501, but not material printed entirely from woodblocks or engraved plates. Oxford University members should search for ‘ISTC' on SOLO.
    • R.M. Thomson, The university and college libraries of Oxford vol. 1 University Library to Lincoln College (part of the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues series)
    • Dennis Rhodes, A catalogue of incunabula in all the libraries of Oxford University outside the Bodleian
    • Pollard and Redgrave, A short-title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland, & Ireland and of English books printed abroad, 1475-1640
    • Donald Wing, Short-title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America, and of English books...1641-1700
    • Paul Morgan, Oxford libraries outside the Bodleian: A Guide


The manuscript collection has grown from the foundation of the College, mostly through donations from members. It contains a wide range of texts, bindings, artwork and provenances, of which the rarer examples are known through specialist lists and catalogues.

Corpus manuscripts are also listed in Catalogus codicum mss. qui in collegiis aulisque oxoniensibus hodie adservantur by H.O. Coxe (1852) but please use this with caution and refer to the above descriptive catalogues where appropriate.

We also keep a handlist of later additions to the manuscript collection, including some papers by former College members.

Digital images of some Corpus manuscripts are available through Digital.Bodleian, while others are available through the Digital Image Archives of Medieval Music (DIAMM). All the College's Hebrew manuscripts have been digitized and are available from the National Library of Israel's Ktiv site.