Locke Manuscripts

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Locke b. 1-8, c. 1-47, d. 1-13, e. 1-17, f. 1-49
  • Dates of Creation
      17th-18th century
  • Language of Material
      English, and Latin.
  • Physical Description
      134 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Papers of John Locke, including:  

  • Journals, letters, and accounts
  • Papers relating to books and Locke's library
  • Papers relating to theology, religion and philosophy
  • Papers relating to money and coinage
  • Medical notebooks and papers
  • Papers relating to trade and the colonies
  • Collections of verse
  • Papers of Peter King, 1st Baron King (1669-1734)

Administrative / Biographical History

John Locke (1632-1704) was a philosopher. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

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.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/specialcollections).

Acquisition Information

The major part of the papers and correspondence of John Locke was bought from Peter King, 4th Earl of Lovelace, in 1947, with help from the Pilgrim Trust and the Delegates of the Clarendon Press. Further manuscripts were given to the Library by Paul Mellon, 1960-71. Additional items have been acquired, 1961-70.


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. II, nos. 48033-166.

The manuscripts bought from Lord Lovelace are described in Philip Long, A summary catalogue of the Lovelace collection of the papers of John Locke in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1959). The manuscripts given by Paul Mellon, and three other manuscripts, are described by Philip Long, 'The Mellon donation...', Bodleian Library Record, 7 (1962-7), 185-93. Additions and corrections to some of the descriptions are given in Bodleian Library Record, 9 (1973-8), 81-2.