Selden Manuscripts

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Selden supra 108-51
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      English, Latin, Ancient Greek (to 1453), and Hebrew.
  • Physical Description
      44 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Correspondence and papers of John Selden, with some manuscripts owned by him, including:  

  • Correspondence, 1616-54
  • Papers relating to political affairs, early English history, and legal affairs during Charles I's reign
  • Lectures on Aristotle given at the Jesuit College, Rome, late 16th century
  • Lectures on St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, and related questions, probably given at the Jesuit College, Rome, early 17th century

Administrative / Biographical History

John Selden (1584-1654) was a jurist, MP and antiquary. 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

The majority of the manuscripts were bought from James Fairhurst in 1942 and 1947.


Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

M. Clapinson and T.D. Rogers, Summary Catalogue of Post-Medieval Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford. Acquisitions 1916-1975. (Oxford, 1991), vol. II, nos. 52546-91.

Related Material

Other papers of Selden are listed in Summary Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (7 vols., Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, Kraus Reprint, 1980), nos. 3134-3490.