Wood Manuscripts

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Add. C. 173; Ashm. Mus. c. 1; Wood B. 1-15, C. 1-12, C. 52-3, D. 1-5, D. 7-20, D. 32-3, E. 1-12, E. 14, E. 29, E. 32-3, F. 1-21, F. 23-37, F. 39-51; Wood donat. 1-9; Wood empt. 1-25; Wood Rolls 1
  • Dates of Creation
      11th-17th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English, Latin, French, and Modern Greek (1453-).
  • Physical Description
      154 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Wood's manuscripts are arranged in three collections:

  • MSS. Wood - antiquarian manuscripts
  • MSS. Wood empt. - medieval manuscripts
  • MSS. Wood donat. - Gerard Langbaine's Adversaria
  • MSS. Wood Additional - Oxford history

Administrative / Biographical History

Anthony Wood was born on 17 December 1632. He was educated at New College School, Thame School, and Merton College, Oxford (Commoner 1647, BA 1652, MA 1655). He did not, however, distinguish himself in academic pursuits and published nothing until late in life. His manuscript 'History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford' was bought by the University Press, which published it in a Latin translation as Historia et Antiquitates Universitatis Oxoniensis (1674). Wood, dissatisfied with this, continued to work at the English copy, which was eventually published in a longer form by John Gutch in 1786-90. In 1691-2 he produced his Athenae Oxonienses, a biographical dictionary of Oxford writers and bishops. Next year he was exiled from the University for his libel on the Earl of Clarendon's father, but he recanted and was allowed to return. He died on 29 November 1695. Further 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 manuscripts were acquired by the Library, 1690-1860.


Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

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 (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. 8463-8622.


A full account of the collection can be found in Andrew Clark, Life and Times of Anthony Wood, vols. i (1891), pp. 6-21; iv (1895), pp. 228-50 (Oxford Historical Society, vols. xix, xxx).