Montague Rhodes James: Sermons, Lectures and Addresses

Scope and Content

MS.Add.7484. Lectures and addresses by James at Eton College, Cambridge and elsewhere, on a range of subjects, but often discussing art and literature in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, c.1887-1935 (much of the material is undated). 2 boxes.

MS.Add.7485. Sermons and addresses by James, mainly at Eton College or in Cambridge, c.1917-1935. 1 box.

Administrative / Biographical History

Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936) studied at Eton, before attending King's College, Cambridge, to study classics. He became an assistant at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, in 1886, and was director, 1893-1908. In 1887 he started to lecture in divinity at Cambridge, and was made a fellow of King's. James served as dean (1889-1900), tutor (1900-1902), and provost (1905-1918) of King's, and was vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, 1913-1915. He became provost of Eton in 1918, and held that position until the year of his death. From 1895 to 1932 he catalogued the Western manuscripts in Cambridge, Eton, Lambeth, Westminster Abbey, John Rylands, and Aberdeen University Libraries, as well as other papers found in private collections. James studied Apocryphal literature, wrote extensively on medieval arts and literature, and translated texts. He also wrote ghost stories.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by the executors of the late Dr M.R. James, 1954.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on James in Concise Dictionary of National Biography, Part II, 1901-1970, p.359 (Oxford University Press, 1982).

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library also holds family correspondence of Montague Rhodes James, MS.Add.7480.