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"Can you tell me something of its provenance…?"

leather-bound book with All Souls College arms embossed in gilt

This is the question most frequently asked by researchers consulting our early printed collections, and there are some features of the history of the College's library which can help to explain the institutional, and often personal, history of most of the collection. The Benefactors' Register The college was founded in 1438, and from the first statutes, rules were laid down by Archbishop Chichele concerning the keeping of books and the recording of their donors. In Chapter 26 of the Statutes, it was stated that the details of the books and donors were to be recorded in a Register (figs. 1-2) made specifically for the purpose: ...

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Acta manuscript entry: Jul 11 1642, 'Lone of yr tower money to his Majestie'


The first complete surviving All Souls College Minute Book, Acta in Capitulis, MS. 400a dates from 18th August 1601 to the final entry, dated 29th July 1707, when it was agreed that the Wood-House should be repaired. The manuscript comprises 260 folios, of which folios 1 – [...]

Posted: 2021-02-03 (last modified 2023-03-14 03:18:17 PM)

war memorials in the College chapel - WWI on left, WW2 on right

World War I and All Souls College

MEMENTOTE INTER HOS PARIETES HUIUSCE COLLEGII ALUMNORUM ET FAMULORUM QUI PRO PATRIA MILITANTES MORTEM OPPETIUERUNT MCMXIV – XVIII [Remember within these walls the sons and servants of this College who met their deaths when fighting for their Country[...]

Posted: 2015-11-11 (last modified 2023-03-14 03:18:17 PM)

Corner of building at the end of Catte St. looking into Radcliffe Square, with scuffed chalk mark visible on the wall

Beating the Bounds

The beating of the bounds is a tradition which dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, and was the means by which parish boundaries were marked, and remembered. On Ascension Day the Vicar and parishioners of St Mary the Virgin, the University Church, walk the parish boundary, “mar[...]

Posted: 2015-05-14 (last modified 2023-03-14 03:18:17 PM)

detail of library stamp and page inscribed 'Legatum Illustrissimi viri Iosephi Scaligeri'

The printed achievement of Aldus Manutius

This symposium was convened by Ian Maclean (All Souls College, Oxford) and Oren Margolis (Somerville College, Oxford) on 7th February 2015, and comprised 5 presentations summarized here: Aldine Greek Incunabula and early collections in Oxford College Geri Della Roc[...]

Posted: 2015-02-27 (last modified 2023-03-14 03:18:17 PM)

The Library Orders: 'Nov. 8. 1751. It was then agreed by ye Warden and Fellows that the Codrington Library shall be under ye following Regulations for one whole year ensuing from the Date hereof: viz 1. That all ye Books be ranged in Classes according to their several Sciences, and that particular Parts of the Library be allotted to each Class. 2. That when the Books are ranged, a Classical Catalogue be immediately taken of them, in the Order in which they stand with proper Blanks for future Accessions of Books, and that an Alphabetical Catalogue be compiled from the Classical one in an interleaved Copy of ye Bodleian Catalogue. 3. That the Warden, Subwarden, Deans, Bursars, the Senior Artist, Senior Jurist then resident in College, if Graduates, shall be at all Times a standing Committee for the Library, and regulate all Matters relating to the same, according to ye Opinion of ye Majority of the said Committee. 4. That two Fellows or Chaplains of ye College be appointed by ye said Committee to be principal Librarians, who shall be removable at ye Discretion of the said Committee, and receive a Salary of twenty Shillings for every Month in which they shall officiate.'

The Library Orders


Posted: 2014-11-11 (last modified 2023-03-14 03:18:17 PM)