Routh Manuscripts

Scope and Content

The manuscript material which came to Durham consists chiefly of two 15th century manuscripts bound with printed books, several 17th century copies of printed items, notes (largely 18th-19th century) relating to the printed items with which they are bound, and numerous fragments of manuscripts (mainly medieval) used to strengthen bindings.

Administrative / Biographical History

Martin Joseph Routh (1755-1854), President of Magdalen College, Oxford, was a distinguished patristics scholar and inveterate book collector, who bequeathed his large library (some 23,000 items) to the University of Durham. Apart from those manuscripts bound with printed books, however, his manuscripts were not included in the bequest, and were sold at Sotheby's on 5 July 1855, when sixteen were bought by Sir Thomas Phillipps (nos 14026-41 in his catalogue).


In order of pressmark

Access Information

Open for consultation

Acquisition Information

See Administrative history above


Part of : Routh Collection

Other Finding Aids

The two medieval manuscripts (S.R.2.B3/2 and S.R.3.A4/2) are described in N. Ker, Medieval manuscripts in British libraries, vol. 2 (Oxford, 1977), 517-521, and they and the more significant medieval fragments are also covered by the Draft catalogue of medieval manuscripts in the University Library. There is a rough list of the other manuscript material, in pressmark order

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

Routh Library (printed books)


Doyle, A.I., The Routh Library, Times Literary Supplement, 24 December 1954, p.844.

Doyle, A.I., Martin Joseph Routh and his books in Durham University Library, Durham University Journal, 48 (1955-6), 100-7.