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

MS. Canon. Bibl. Lat. 56

Summary Catalogue no.: 18949


Bible (without Psalms)
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Fine historiated borders.

Historiated initials.

Other initials. Written by Lanfrancus de Pancis de Cremona, fol. 469r. (Pächt and Alexander ii. 78, pl. VII)


16th century?, Italian, perhaps incorporating earlier medieval sewing which is on nine cords: thick pasteboards, covered in brown leather with blind line- and roll-tooling around edges, with marks of four lost strap-and-pin clasps. Rebacked in lighter brown leather with gilt lines and titles and a red-leather label, 18th century, Italian; 20th-century Bodleian leather repairs; endbands lost. 361–364 × 239–240 × c. 84–85 mm. (book closed).

Pasted on the front paste-down is a parchment slip containing a table of the biblical books in formal humanistic script, 15th century, with a faded heading including the words ‘in refectorio’.


Origin: 1265 ; Italian, Bologna

Provenance and Acquisition

Matteo Luigi Canonici, 1727–1805

Giuseppe Canonici , -1807

Purchased by the Bodleian in 1817

Record Sources

Summary description abbreviated from the Quarto Catalogue (H. O. Coxe, Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecæ Bodleianæ pars tertia codices Græcos et Latinos Canonicianos complectens, Quarto Catalogues III, 1854). Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1970). Binding: B. C. Barker-Benfield, Bookbindings of Canonici manuscripts : a survey of early and non-standard bindings, mostly Italian, in the Canonici collection of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford (Oxford, privately printed, 2020)

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (114 images from 35mm slides)


    Printed descriptions:

    A. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries (1984), no. 147

Last Substantive Revision

2020-04: Binding description added.