Canonici Manuscripts

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Manuscripts collected by Canonici, consisting of:

  • Greek
  • Latin Classics
  • Latin Bibles
  • Latin Patristic and Ecclesiastical
  • Liturgical
  • Miscellaneous
  • Italian
  • Oriental (not included in list of shelfmarks below)

The shelfmarks of this collection are as follows: MSS. Canon. Bibl. Lat. 1-93; Canon. Class. Lat. 1-311; Canon. Gr. 1-128; Canon. Ital. 1-301; Canon. Liturg. 1-3, 5, 8-13, 15-18, 20-5, 28, 30-7, 41, 43, 49, 55, 63, 72, 75-6, 91-3, 99, 105, 108, 114, 116, 118, 123-6, 128-9, 131, 134-43, 146-8, 150-1, 155-9, 161-72, 175, 178, 183, 188, 190-2, 197, 199-227, 229, 231, 233, 237, 239-49, 251-2, 254-5, 257-79, 281, 283-7, 289-94, 296-7, 301, 305-6, 308, 311-34, 336, 339-56, 358-64, 366-71, 373-80, 382-9, 391-3, 395, 410, 411-14; Canon. Misc. 1-576; Canon. Pat. Lat. 1-232

Administrative / Biographical History

Matteo Luigi Canonici was born at Venice on 5 August 1727 and became a Jesuit in 1743. His natural bent was towards history and antiquities, and when Accademico of the College of St. Catherine at Parma he formed a first collection of medals and books, but in 1768, when the Jesuit Order was suppressed in the kingdom of Naples and Duchy of Parma, it was confiscated. Canonici, who had retired to Bologna, only received a small sum of money in return. Next he collected pictures, but this scandalized his superiors, and he was forced to get rid of them, obtaining in exchange a museum of medals. In 1773 a further suppression of the Order took place, and Canonici retired to Venice, where he set himself to study history, and collected coins, statuary, printed books and manuscripts, chiefly during autumn journeys to Rome, Naples, Florence or elsewhere. He acquired for instance en bloc the collections of the Duke of Modena, and the library of Giacomo Soranzo of Venice, which was itself partly derived from the Biblioteca Recanati. He always holed that the Jesuits would be restored, and inteded in that case to make them his heir, but eventually died at Treviso, in October 1805, without making a will.

Conditions Governing Access

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/specialcollections).

Acquisition Information

The Library purchased the greater part of the manuscripts in 1817, for 5444 5s., or including incidental expenses about 6030, the largest single purchase ever made by the Library.

Note

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

Other Finding Aids

Custodial History

Canonici's collections passed to his brother Giuseppe, and on his death in 1807 to Giovanni Perissinotti and Girolamo Cardina, who divided them. To the former fell the manuscripts.