A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Bodl. 271

Summary Catalogue no.: 1938

Physical Description

Composite: fols. 1–166 || B
Seven parchment fragments of music used in the spine removed and now kept as MS. Bodl. 271*. Four strips remain here.
Extent: ii + 239 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 16.5 × 11.625 in.


2 cols.


Stamped leather on boards, English 15th cent. work, probably of Canterbury, in a green baize cover.


Provenance and Acquisition

Part 1, which was written at Canterbury and remained there until at least 1508, was supplemented in the fifteenth century by part 2. MLGB notes: 'A hand s. xvi? adds to the original table of contents (which agrees with the catalogue entry no. 62): "Explanacio super cantica canticorum quam pulcherrima" and this is found at the end of the book.'

Given by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob Colfe in 1616.

MS. Bodl. 271 – Part 1


Anselm of Canterbury
Rubric: In hoc uolumine continentur libri uenerabilis Anselmi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi...
(fol. 1)

Wanting the first two leaves.

(fol. 23v)
(fols. 31, 32v)

To the former is prefixed the passage of the Proslogion which caused the treatise.

(fol. 36)
De veritate
(fol. 50)
De casu diaboli
(fol. 71)
Cur Deus homo
(fol. 109)
De Processione Spiritus Sancti

Fol. 113 is an inserted leaf.

(fol. 125v)
Meditatio Redemptionis humanae
Incipit: Anima Christiana
(fol. 139)
Orationes sive Meditationes

Twenty in number, with the prologue.

(fol. 159v)
De grammatico

Followed by a prayer.

Several of the pieces have lists of chapters prefixed.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Fine historiated initial.

Other initials. By two hands, the first the same as the Josephus, Cambridge, St John's College, MS. 8.(Pächt and Alexander iii. 86, pl. VIII)


Origin: c. 1110–40 ; English, Canterbury, Christ Church


Christ Church, Canterbury, pressmark ‘Distinctio ija Gradus viiius’ (fol. i recto) repeated, ? s. xiv; 'Opuscula anselmi maiora. De prima monstratione primus' (fol. i recto), s. xiii. (MLGB) Identifiable in the catalogue of Henry de Eastry (James, Ancient Libraries, p. 23 (no. 62)) and the booklist of 1508 (ibid. p. 157 (no. 144)).

MS. Bodl. 271 – Part 2


Anselm ⟨of Laon⟩, Commentary on Song of Songs
Rubric: Expositio sanctissimi confessoris Anselmi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi super Cantica Canticorum

Followed by an index.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Coloured capitals.


Origin: 15th century, late ; England, Canterbury (?)

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description adapted (April 2020) from the following sources, with additional reference to published literature as cited:
Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, III (1973), no. 86 [decoration, origin, date]
Summary Catalogue (1922) [contents, physical description, provenance and acquisition]

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (8 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2020-04-02: Revised to incorporate all information in SC.