Papers of James Legge

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Top. Oxon. c. 528; Eng. misc. e. 556
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English, French, and Chinese.
  • Physical Description
      2 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Papers of James Legge comprising a notebook containing thoughts on Legge's aims and achievements in China, 1846-7, with a list of expenses, 1869; and letters and papers relating to the Professorship of Chinese at Oxford, 1863-94, including:

  • papers concerning the raising of an endowment, 1875-8
  • letters relating to the foundation and maintenance of the Chair, 1875-9
  • letters to Legge, 1866-94
  • copies on tissue paper of letters from Legge, 1879-92
  • printed examination papers for the Davis Chinese scholarship, 1879-92.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Legge (1815-97) was the first professor of Chinese at Oxford, 1876-97; he was also a missionary and sinologist. Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Conditions Governing Access

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

Given to the Library in 1957.


Collection level description created by Susan Thomas, 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. 54648-9.

Related Material

See also an earlier deposit of James Legge's papers (MSS. Eng. misc. c. 863-5, d. 1252-65, e. 1377-81).


Corporate Names

Geographical Names