We are delighted to report that a major new discovery tool for Oxford archives and manuscripts, MARCO, is now available. Oxford’s very own Professor Lyndal Roper, Regius Chair of History, launched the service in a ceremony on 26 October 2023.
It is for all users of manuscript and archive collections held at the Bodleian Libraries and Oxford colleges and is the easiest place to start your search for manuscripts and archives held in Oxford, allowing searching across all online descriptions of the collections.
The discovery tool will allow researchers to deep-dive into detail but also discover material they may not have expected to be held in Oxford.
Where there is a digital copy in Digital.Bodleian, a link will be provided.
ELEVEN CATALOGUES = ONE SEARCH
The descriptions are drawn from eleven online catalogues, extending from Greek papyrus fragments from the 5th century BC to 21st century born-digital archives.
- Bodleian Archives and Manuscripts
- Charters in the Bodleian Libraries
- Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries
- Fihrist: Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World
- Karchak: Tibetan Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries
- Hebrew Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries
- Genizah Fragments at the Bodleian Libraries
- South Asian Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries
- Armenian Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries
- Senmai: Shan Buddhist Manuscripts
- Georgian Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries
The collections include works of literature, medieval legal charters and deeds, politics, science, medicine, theology, law, music, photographic material and religious devotion, as well as many forms of documentary material produced by individuals and institutions.
The project unifies information about individuals, ensuring that whichever spelling or variation of a name you use, you will still find relevant materials:
What is not included?
Please note that not all manuscripts and archives are described online. Many of the catalogues are works-in-progress, and some collections are not yet described online at all. For more information, see below.
Continue to search individual catalogues
Existing users of the individual catalogues, or users who know which individual catalogue describes material they need, can still search the source catalogues directly.
About the project
The project aims to create a researcher-driven and easy to use discovery interface, MARCO, which will allow manuscript and archival materials from the Bodleian and Oxford’s colleges to be searched together. This discovery layer will enable new and existing audiences to better access the materials and will offer a fit-for-purpose environment for finding information about Oxford’s unique collections.
MARCO realizes the Bodleian Libraries’ vision of a connected, user-friendly, robust and adaptable digital environment for the University of Oxford’s manuscripts and archives.
Huge congratulations are due to the very many colleagues involved in designing and launching this project which is part of the Mellon Foundation funded FAMOUS project.
While you are here:
Access to Bodleian Libraries archives: The Bodleian Libraries’ welcome academics, students and researchers to consult special collections in person. Information on how to do so can be found on the Using Special Collections page.
Archives in Colleges: For information about consulting items held at Oxford colleges, please contact the colleges directly. For help and advice using special collections held at Oxford colleges, see Oxford College Archives and Oxford college library guides.
Guides and Finding Aids. For an overview of the special collections held at the Bodleian Libraries, see the Special Collections section of Bodleian Libraries website. This includes:
- Subject Guides, which provide an overview of all the Libraries’ special collections, not just those catalogued online, with links to further information.
- Detailed finding aids, which give specific information working with individual collections.
Please contact Bodleian Special Collections if you need any further information.