Sanskrit, and other oriental, manuscripts collected by William Hodge Mill

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Mill
  • Dates of Creation
      16th-19th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      Sanskrit, Persian, Syriac, Bengali, Pali, Turkish, and Sinhalese.
  • Physical Description
      204 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Mainly Sanskrit manuscripts, but also a few Bengali, Pali, Persian, Sinhalese, Syriac and Turkish manuscripts, collected by William Hodge Mill. The Sanskrit material is principally Vedic, though law, philosophy, drama, and poetry feature too.

Full shelfmarks: MSS. Mill 1-142, 143 (R), 144-66, 168-90, 199, 200 (R), 201, 217-8, 220 (R); MS. Bengali e. 1; MSS. Bodley Or. 622; MS. Pali b. 1 (R), b. 3 (R), c. 2 (R); MS. Sansk. b. 30 (R), c. 31 (R), d. 32 (R); MS. Sinhal. b. 1 [Probably Mill's: MS. Pali b. 1 (R), MSS. Bodley Or. 652-3; MSS. Mill 146-64. Possibly Mill's: MSS. Bodley Or. 672-77].

Administrative / Biographical History

Dr William Hodge Mill (1792-1853) was Principal of Bishop's College, Calcutta, and Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge University. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Access Information

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

Mill's Sanskrit manuscripts, 160 in number, were purchased by the Library in 1849. The remaining portion of the oriental manuscripts, 36 volumes, were purchased in 1858. It is now difficult to disentangle the two separate purchases, and to complicate matters further, there are traces of donations by Mill between the two sets. It appears probable that MSS. Mill 1-145 represent the 160 works of 1849, as reduced by binding to volumes. The remainder of the shelfmarks represented here are manuscripts known, or believed, to have belonged to Mill, which came to the Library after 1849. These include twenty-six Sanskrit volumes which were in Nov. 1873, and two at some time, on loan to Professor Max Mller. The rest may have all been purchased in 1858. MSS. Mill 168-201 came to the Library in 1907.


Collection level description created by Susan Thomas, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

Brief descriptions are in 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, with references to the oriental and other manuscripts (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. 24126-271.

The manuscripts are also summarily described in the card catalogue, arranged by language, located in the Oriental Reading Room.

Theodor Aufrecht, Moriz Winternitz, A.B. Keith Codices Sanscriticos complectens, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1864-1909), vols. 1-2. See also A.B. Keith Catalogue of Sanskrit manuscripts in the Bodleian Library : appendix to vol. 1 (Oxford, 1909).

E. Sachau, H. Eth and A.F.L. Beeston Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindstn, and Pusht manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1889-1953), vol. 3.

A.B. Keith A catalogue of Prakrit manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1911).

R.P. Smith Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae , pars vi: codices Syriacos, Carshunicos, Mendaeos, complectens (Oxford, 1864).

Related Material

The Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts holds related papers of Dr William Hodge Mill (MSS. Mill 191-5, 20-16).