Chinese, Hebrew, Persian and Western manuscripts donated by Archbishop William Laud (1573-1644/5).

William Laud (1573-1645) was born at Reading, Berkshire, attended St John's College, Oxford, was ordained priest in 1601 and became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633. Archbishop Laud's donation to the Library comprised 1242 volumes which were received in three main instalments in 1635, 1636 and 1639, and in smaller ones in 1640-1. It was a miscellaneous collection in at least 20 languages, both European and Asian, partly acquired from Germany, especially Würzburg.

The Western manuscripts of the Laudian collection are now subdivided according to language into three parts with distinct shelfmarks:

  • MSS. Laud Gr. (Greek)
  • MSS. Laud Lat. (Latin)
  • MSS. Laud Misc. (miscellaneous)