Ricci, Seymour Montefiore Robert Rosso de-

Scope and Content

Papers of Seymour Montefiore Robert Rosso de Ricci (1881-1942) comprising: Volume of letters from various correspondents and notes concerning the compilation of de Ricci's Bibliotecha Britannica Manuscripta , a proposed comprehensive work on manuscript material in Great Britain, which was never completed, 1934-1955; thirty-four boxes containing over 64,000 index cards giving bibliographic references to archive and manuscript collections in the United Kingdom, listed alphabetically by town, institution and/or college, along with cards giving details of manuscripts held by collectors and dated sales, arranged alphabetically and chronologically.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bibliographer, papyrologist, collector, and historian of Merovingian tapestries. De Ricci was an expert on the provenance of rare books. He created three reference books of manuscripts and rare books: Catalogue raisonné des premières impressions de Mayence, 1445-1467 , Guide de l'amateur de livres à gravures du XVIIIe siècle , and Census of Medieval Manuscripts in the United States and Canada . In the field of Egypt papyrology, De Ricci traveled throughout Egypt, North America, and Europe to study works in various collections, publishing a bibliography of Egyptology in Revue Archéologique (1917-1918), and the Receuil Champollion (1922). He compiled specific and detailed information on each collection that he studied, which included the maiolica pottery and signed bookbindings in the Mortimer L. Schiff collection, and the Merovingian tapestries in the Pierpont Morgan collection in New York City. On completion of his Census of Medieval Manuscripts in the United States and Canada in 1934, De Ricci approached the Institute of Historical Research in London with the possibility of conducting a similar survey of manuscript sources in the British Isles. De Ricci was continuing the process of listing and gathering information, begun in 1902, when he died in 1942.

For more information on the 'Bibliotheca Britannica Manuscripta' project, please consult Joan Gibbs, 'Seymour de Ricci's Bibliotheca Britannica Manuscripta' in Calligraphy and Palaeography: Essays presented to Alfred Fairbank on his 70th Birthday (Faber, London, 1965)


The collection is divided into four sections: MS901/1 - Correspondence MS901/2 - Library/Archive Boxes MS901/3 - Collector Boxes MS901/4 - Other Boxes

Access Information

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Institute of Historical Research, 7 July 1953.

Other Finding Aids

The on-line ULRLS catalogue includes a full catalogue of this deposit, http://archives.ulrls.lon.ac.uk/default.aspx

Archivist's Note

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Geographical Names