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

MS. Selden Supra 36*

Summary Catalogue no.: 3424*



Containing part of the Office of St Justus, with neums

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii (modern paper) + 1 (parchment) + 2-7 (modern paper), with the paper leaves practically blank
Dimensions (binding): 263 × 213 mm.
Dimensions (leaf): 262 × 205 mm.
A note by EWB Nicholson at the beginning of the volume states that this leaf was folded over and inserted at the beginning of MS. Selden Supra 36 and that it was removed and rebound as a separate volume on July 16 1909. (A note at the beginning of MS. Selden Supra 36 records the same details.) On this, see also Nicholson's comments that he had the fragment removed after H. M. Bannister discovered and identified it, with Nicholson reporting Bannister's view that the fragment 'must have belonged to a large Winchester Antiphoner' (Introduction to the Study of Some of the Oldest Latin Musical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford [London: Novello, 1913], p. xxxi, fn. 3). The wooden board and the turn-ins of the cover of MS. Selden Supra 36 contain an imprint (in reverse) that is probably from this fragment. MS. Selden Supra 36 still retains a very small fragment of the same text, comprising only a few letter-forms, at fols 73–74. Another fragment of this text is in London, British Library, Royal MS. 12 F. XIV, fols 1–2 and fol. 135, with 'Neumes; Silver and gold? letters, rubrics and initials in silver' (Andrew Dunning, Alison Hudson and Christina Duffy, 'Reconstructing Burnt Anglo-Saxon Fragments in the Cotton Collection at the British Library', Fragmentology, 1, [2018], p. 35). Susan Rankin observes that the fragments are 'unusually wide (written space 219/216 × 150 mm) for a chant-book' (Music Books in The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, Vol. 1, ed. Richard Gameson, p. 502, n. 94)


There are 13 lines on each side of the fragment but the top has been cut away and so originally there would have been more lines to the page


Origin: 11th century, late (?). Dunning et al. suggest a date of s. xi1 (s. xiex?) for the fragment in Royal MS. 12 F. XIV ('Reconstructing Burnt Anglo-Saxon Fragments', Fragmentology, 1, [2018], p. 35). ; England, Winchester (?)

Provenance and Acquisition

'Thomas Nortonus' may have owned the leaf in the 16th century

John Selden, 1584–1654

Acquired by the Bodleian in 1659

Record Sources

Description adapted (November 2023) by Stewart J. Brookes from the Summary Catalogue (1922), with additional reference to published literature as cited. Additional details and page measurements by SJB


Fols 1r- 1v are reproduced in E. W. B. Nicholson, Early Bodleian Music (1913), Pl. 45, 46


Last Substantive Revision

2023-11-29: Description revised to incorporate all the information in the Summary Catalogue (1922)