Papers of Francis Douce

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Douce b. 6-9, c. 5-12, d. 20-88, e. 9-107, f. 6-26
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      English, Latin, and French.
  • Physical Description
      201 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Douce's letters, papers, autobiographical memoranda, commonplace books and unpublished essays.

Administrative / Biographical History

Francis Douce (1757-1834) was an antiquary and collector. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography. Douce and his collections are discussed in Bodleian Quarterly Record, 7 (1932-4), 359-82, in A. N. L. Munby, Connoisseurs and medieval miniatures 1750-1850 (Oxford, 1972), 35-56, and in The Douce legacy [exhibition catalogue] (Bodleian Library, Oxford, 1984).

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

Given by the Trustees of the British Museum, 1933.


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. I, nos. 39185-389

Custodial History

Bequeathed to the British Museum, 1834, to be opened 1 Jan 1900.

Related Material

Douce's library, bequeathed to the Bodleian in 1834, is described in Catalogue of the printed books and manuscripts ... [of] Francis Douce (Oxford, 1840). The manuscripts, and some printed books with manuscript additions, are described in greater detail in Falconer Madan et al., A Summary Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library 7 vols. (Oxford, 1895-1953) nos. 21575-22005, 22009, 28920, 29903, 30452-4, 30821, 33373, 35153. Descriptions of two guard-books (MSS. Douce b.5 and d.19), containing fragments of medieval manuscripts in the bequest of 1834, are available in the Library. Many of the Douce prints, and a few manuscripts relating to prints and coins, are now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.