Collections of Nathaniel Johnston and Richard Frank

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Top. Yorks. b. 18-20, c. 13-70, c. 90, d. 9-11, e. 31; Eng. hist. c. 283-90; Eng. misc. c. 275, c. 341, d. 289-90, e. 252-4; Eng. poet. c. 25; Eng. th. c. 59; French e. 21; Lat. misc. c. 67, d. 75, f. 41; Lat. th. c. 18; Top. Derbyshire c. 3; Top. eccles. c. 9; Top. gen. c. 49-57; Top. Oxon. c. 378
  • Dates of Creation
      16th-18th century
  • Language of Material
      English, French, and Latin.
  • Physical Description
      100 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Collections of Nathaniel Johnston and Richard Frank. Johnston's collections are divided into sections relating to Yorkshire, genealogy and English history; Frank's into Yorkshire, and legal and miscellaneous.

Administrative / Biographical History

Nathaniel Johnston (1627-1705), physician and antiquary, spent thirty years transcribing materials for a history of Yorkshire. The first account of his manuscripts appeared in Edward Bernard, Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliae et Hiberniae (Oxford, 1697), ii, 99-102. A biography of Johnston and a detailed description of his volumes in this collection are given in Janet D. Martin, 'The antiquarian collections of Nathaniel Johnston', Oxford B.Litt. thesis, 1956. Details are also given in the Dictionary of National Biography. Richard Frank (1698-1762) was an antiquary. He transcribed materials on Yorkshire antiquities.

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 collection was bought at Sotheby's in 1942.


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. 55290-390.

A more detailed description and index are available in the Library and at the National Register of Archives.

Custodial History

Many of Johnston's manuscripts were bought by Richard Frank in 1756. Frank added lists of contents to many of the volumes and had them indexed by his servant John Coe. His collections, including many Johnston manuscripts, descended to F. Bacon Frank of Campsall Hall, Yorkshire, and are listed in Historical Manuscript Commission, Reports 5: 6th report (1877) app., 448-65. Much of the Campsall Hall library was sold at Sotheby's in 1942.