Montague Rhodes James: Collections of Manuscripts at Cambridge

Scope and Content

'Collections of Manuscripts at Cambridge, their History, Sources and Contents', the Sandars Lectures for 1903, 48 folios. A list of slides shown follows the text (fo. 45). The versos are blank throughout.

Administrative / Biographical History

Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936) studied at Eton, before attending King's College, Cambridge, to study classics. He became an assistant at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, in 1886, and was Director, 1893-1908. In 1887 he started to lecture in divinity at Cambridge, and was made a Fellow of King's. James served as Dean (1889-1900), Tutor (1900-1902) and Provost (1905-1918) of King's, and was Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, 1913-1915. He became Provost of Eton in 1918, and held that position until the year of his death. From 1895 to 1932 he catalogued the Western manuscripts in Cambridge University Library and the libraries of Eton, Lambeth, Westminster Abbey, John Rylands University and Aberdeen University, as well as other papers found in private collections. James studied Apocryphal literature, wrote extensively on medieval arts and literature, and translated texts. He also wrote ghost stories.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Received from M.R. James, 1904.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on James in the L.G. Wickham Legg, ed., Dictionary of national biography, 1931-1940 (Oxford University Press, 1949), pp. 471-473.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library also holds sermons, lectures and addresses of M.R. James, MSS.Add.7484 and 7485, and correspondence of the James family, MS.Add.7480.

Corporate Names