Persian and Arabic manuscripts of Thomas Hyde

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Hyde 1-50
  • Dates of Creation
      14th-17th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Italian, Modern Greek (1453-), Turkish, and Syriac.
  • Physical Description
      50 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

The manuscripts are mainly Arabic and Persian, with three Chinese manuscripts, and a little material in Greek, Italian, Syriac and Turkish. The collection contains a number of vocabularies, and some historical and theological manuscripts.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Hyde (1636-1703) specialised in Persian at King's College, Cambridge, but came to Queen's College, Oxford, in 1658, as reader in Hebrew. Hyde succeeded Edward Pococke as Laudian professor of Arabic in 1691, and became Regius professor of Hebrew, and Canon of Christ Church, in 1697. He was appointed sub-librarian of the Bodleian in 1659, and librarian in 1665. 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

Acquisition Information

The Library purchased 39 of Hyde's manuscripts, MSS. Hyde 1-10 and 18-45, in 1692. Eleven others, MSS. Hyde 11-17 and 46-9, probably came to the Library shortly after his death in 1703. MS. Hyde 50 is most likely unconnected with Hyde, but placed there because of its identity of subject with MS. Hyde 49.


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

Other Finding Aids

Brief descriptions are 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), vol. II, nos. 6374-412; vol. V, nos. 27798-808.

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

E. Sachau, H. Eth and A.F.L. Beeston Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindstn, and Pusht manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1889-1953), vols. 1-2.

J. UriBibliothecae Bodleianae codicum manuscriptorum Orientalium catalogus pars prima (Oxford 1787).

A. Nicoll Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Orientalium Bibliothecae Bodleianae pars secunda, Arabicos complectens (Oxford, 1835).

A. Dillmann Catalogus codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae, pars vii. Codices Aethiopici (Oxford, 1848).

Robert Payne Smith Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae, pars vi: codices Syriacos, Carshunicos, Mendaeos, complectens (Oxford, 1864).