Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books

Scope and Content

'A Catalogue of Manuscripts and Printed Books Presented to The University of Cambridge By The Reverend Claudius Buchanan D.D. MDCCCIX', probably written by Thomas Yeates, 43 folios. The catalogue is evidently a first draft of Cambridge University Library MS Nn.6.45(2), which is in the same hand. The latter omits the descriptions of printed books, other than those in Hebrew, and some other matter contained in the present manuscript. In this volume the main catalogue is written on the rectos, the versos containing additional description and notes. Further additions are given in an appendix from fo. 30 onwards. In MS Nn.6.45(2) the substance of these additions has been embodied in the catalogue.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Yeates (1768-1839), orientalist and historian, was born at Snow Hill, London, on 9 October 1768. He was apprenticed as a turner, but left this position to join All Souls College, Oxford, in 1802. Between about 1808 and 1815 he was employed by Claudius Buchanan to catalogue the oriental manuscripts he had collected in India. Thereafter, he was Secretary of the London Society of Literature, and, from 1823, an assistant in the Printed Book Department of the British Museum. He died on 7 October 1839.

Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815) was born on 12 March 1766 at Cambuslang, near Glasgow. He attended Glasgow University and Queens' College, Cambridge, before becoming a chaplain in India for the East India Company, 1796-1800. He was Professor and Vice-Provost of the College of Fort William, 1800-1807, before returning to England in 1808. Buchanan produced translations of the scriptures into oriental languages, and was an advocate of missionary work. He died on 9 February 1815 at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Presented by W. Aldis Wright, 1903.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Thomas Yeates in Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of national biography, Vol. XXI (London, 1909), pp. 1226-1227, and the entries on Claudius Buchanan in Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., Dictionary of national biography, Vol. III (London, 1908), pp. 182-184, and in J.A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, Part II, Vol. I (Cambridge University Press, 1940), p. 428.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Custodial History

The catalogue was bought from H. Bohn by Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart, c. 1867, and became MS 19397 in his collection.

Corporate Names