M.R. James and A.F. Scholfield: Papers on Recataloguing Cambridge University Manuscripts

Scope and Content

Reports, correspondence and lists of manuscripts for M.R. James's recataloguing of Cambridge University Library medieval manuscripts.

[1] M.R. James, remarks on cataloguing C.U.L. medieval manuscripts (1925), with a list of MSS in class Dd, and a draft catalogue entry by Scholfield.

[2] List of Sir Thomas Knyvett's MSS in C.U.L.

[3] Correspondence between H.D. Hazeltine, Downing Professor of the Laws of England, and A.F. Scholfield about a plan to recatalogue C.U.L. legal MSS (1927), with a list of C.U.L. legal MSS.

[4] Notebook compiled by B.F.C. Atkinson of lists of MSS sent to James (1926-30).

[5] M.R. James, report to the University Librarian about the completion of the catalogue (1930), with a list by James of MSS omitted by him.

[6-7] Letter, M.R. James to B.F.C. Atkinson on how legal and other MSS could be catalogued; M.R. James, report to the Library Syndicate on his cataloguing, and what remained to be done.

Administrative / Biographical History

Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936), Provost of Eton, formerly Provost of King's College, Cambridge, was asked in 1925 by Alwyn Faber Scholfield (1884-1969), University Librarian, to recatalogue the medieval manuscripts of Cambridge University Library. James had already made catalogues of medieval manuscripts in Cambridge colleges. By 1930 he had completed the descriptions of the Library's manuscripts, but his work was never published.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Office correspondence and papers, collected and catalogued, 1995.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue. A catalogue is also available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Related Material

James's descriptions of medieval manuscripts are available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.


For information about James's recataloguing work see R.W. Pfaff, Montague Rhodes James, 1980, pp.325-330, and Jayne Ringrose, 'The Legacy of M.R. James in Cambridge University Library', in Lynda Dennison, ed., The Legacy of M.R. James (Donington, 2001), pp.23-36.