Miscellaneous Syriac manuscripts in the Bodleian Library

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Syr. a. 1, c. 1 (P), 2, 3 (P), 5, 6 (R), 7-8, 9-14, 15-18 (P), d. 1-2, 4 (P), 5, 6 (P), 7-9, 11-12, 13-14 (P), 16-20, 21-33 (P), 34-8, e. 1-17, 18-19 (P), 20-5, f. 1, 2 (R), 3-12, g. 2-3 (R)
  • Dates of Creation
      3rd-20th century, mainly 12th-14th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      Syriac, and Other Semitic.
  • Physical Description
      92 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Syriac manuscripts, with two Mandaean manuscripts, including Gospels, Lectionaries, liturgical manuscripts, and service books etc., 3rd-20th century, with the majority dating from the 12th-14th centuries.

Administrative / Biographical History

Miscellaneous Syriac manuscripts from various sources. The collection includes material from the bequest of David Samuel Margoliouth (1858-1940), who was professor of Arabic at the University of Oxford between 1889 and 1937. See the Dictionary of National Biography for details.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

The manuscripts were acquired from various sources between 1883 and 1980. The collection includes material from the bequest of David Samuel Margoliouth which was transferred to the Library from the Ashmolean Museum in 1959, and from the Oriental Institute in 1980; and papyri purchased in 1917 from the executors of W.D. Macray, which had been given to Macray by Henry Gough in 1890.


Several of the manuscripts were previously located in the 'MS. Bodl. Or.' series.

Collection level description created by Susan Thomas, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

Some of the manuscripts are summarily described in Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series, with references to the oriental and other manuscripts (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vols. V-VI, nos. 29378, 30951-7, 30959-62, 31312, 31491, 31638, 32605, 32845-9, 33369-70, 33615-16, 37027-8.

The manuscripts are also summarily described in the card catalogue, arranged by language, located in the Oriental Reading Room.