Papers of A.S. Napier

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 481 ZP
  • Dates of Creation
      late 19th-early 20th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English, Middle English (1100-1500), Old English (ca.450-1100), and German.
  • Physical Description
      18 boxes

Scope and Content

Academic papers and letters of A.S. Napier:

  • (ZP 67.2) letters of A.S. Napier, arranged alphabetically by author, then by date, 1872-1916. Correspondents best represented are Henry Bradley, F.J. Furnivall, W.P. Ker and Julius Zupitza.
  • (ZP 67.4) Napier's working papers, arranged alphabetically by subject: Aelfric, Alfred, Ancrene Riwle, Arthur, Beowulf, Bestiary, Chaucer, English school, exam papers, Gast of Gy, homilies, King horn, Jacob and Joseph, Juliana, Klage der Frau, language (German, OE), Lazamon, Lexicography, Leofric, Luue ron, Middle English, misc., The Owl and the Nightingale, The Passion of our Lord, Pearl, Poema Morale, Rauf Coilyear, Shakespeare, Sinners Beware, Troy, n.d.
  • (ZP 67.6) miscellaneous material including notes on the Merton Professorship and exam papers set by Napier, 1889-99
  • (ZP 67.8) material relating to various academic societies including receipts, programmes and correspondence, 19th-20th century
  • (ZP 67.10) material about A.S. Napier, n.d.
  • (ZP 67.12) press cuttings, 1878-1908
  • (ZP 67.16) material relating to printed published work, offprints, etc.
  • (ZP 67.18) printed examination papers of the University of Oxford
  • (ZP 67.20) printed material, mostly concerning the English School at Oxford

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Sampson Napier (1853-1916) was an eminent philologist, the first Merton Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University, 1885-1904, and Rawlinsonian Professor of Anglo-Saxon from 1903. See Who Was Who, and Neil Ker 'A.S. Napier, 1853-1916' in Philological Essays: Studies in Old and Middle English Literature in honour of Herbert Dean Meritt, ed. James L. Rosser (Janua Linguarum, series major 37, 1970), pp. 152-81, for details.

Access Information

Access to special collections is permitted at any time by prior arrangement with the Librarian (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

Given to the Library, 1966-7.


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

Other Finding Aids

There is an unpublished handlist to the collection available in the Library.

Related Material

The Napier pamphlets, also held by the Library and catalogued as part of the RSLP 19th Century Pamphlets project in 2001, include many scarce late 19th and early 20th century academic dissertations on Old and Middle English philology.