Early Printed Books

St John’s College holds around 20,000 volumes printed prior to 1850, a collection discussed in more detail here. As part of the imaging phase of the digitization project, we are making a select few available online.

Oxford, St John’s College, A.2.11, title page


This copy of the Book of Common Prayer from 1615 used to belong to King James I. It includes two manuscript additions: a list of prayers spoken at James I’s deathbed and William Paddy’s autograph account of the king’s death. 

A partial digital facsimile will be available soon!

Oxford, St John’s College, A.2.5, fol. 188r


A.2.5 includes a second edition of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1483), here with hand-coloured woodcut illustrations. It is bound with printed copies of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde (1483) and John Mirk’s Quattuor Sermones (1483), as well as a manuscript copy of John Lydgate’s The Siege of Thebes (MS 266).

Catalogue entry (MS 266)
A full digital facsimile will be available soon!

A.2.11 fol. 3v


A.2.11 is a 16th-century book of hours (Use of Salisbury), printed by Germain Hardouyn in Paris in 1530. This book was printed on vellum, and it has been designed to look like a manuscript. You can learn more about this book in our blog post.

A full digital facsimile will be available soon!

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