Hebrew Biblical manuscripts of Benjamin Kennicott. The collection includes an outstanding example Sephardic manuscript art in the 'Kennicott Bible', copied in 1476 (MS. Kennicott 1).
Hebrew Biblical manuscripts of Benjamin Kennicott
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 161 MSS. Kennicott 1-10, 12, 17-18; MSS. Kennicott a. 1, b. 1-3, c. 1-11, 13-26, d. 1-26, e. 34-43
- Dates of Creation1222-15th century
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialHebrew, Other Semitic, Syriac, and Arabic.
- Physical Description78 shelfmarks
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Benjamin Kennicott (1718-83) was a Hebraist. He was educated and worked most of his life in Oxford. He was the first to systematically examine and produce a collation of the Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament. His chief work was Vetus Testamentum hebraicum cum variis lectionibus, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1776-80). See the Dictionary of National Biography for details.
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).
In 1760 Kennicott sent the Library the manuscript collations that he had then made. The remainder of his collations, with his correspondence and miscellaneous codices, were originally deposited in the Radcliffe Library, of which Kennicott was Librarian from 1767 to 1783. They were transferred to the Bodleian Library in 1872.
Collection level description created by Susan Thomas, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.
Other Finding Aids
Brief descriptions are in the card catalogue, arranged by language, located in the Oriental Reading Room.
Some of the Kennicott manuscripts are in A. Neubauer and A.E. Cowley Catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian library, and in the College Libraries of Oxford, 2 vols., Catalogi Codd. MSS. Bibliothecae Bodleianae pars xii, (Oxford, 1886-1906), vol. 1. More recently, a 'Supplement of Addenda and Corrigenda', which has to be used in conjunction with Neubauer's Catalogue, was published (Oxford 1994).
A full-color facsimile of the First Kennicott Bible (MS. Kennicott 1) is available. The Kennicott Bible (London: Facsimile Editions, 1985).