– notes, frequently asked questions and useful links from the archivist and curator of manuscripts at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Opinions expressed are the author's own.

site searches

Well, I have my work cut out – it’s clear the sort of questions searchers want to find out about Balliol from the blog statistics. Here’s a list – some of these topics have already been addressed to in the blog, and there’s lots more information about others on the website. I’ll add links from here as the blanks are (very gradually) filled in:

 • 50 searches related to medieval manuscripts, illuminated borders and initials, scribes and illuminators, welsh mss in particular, images of manuscripts available online
• 21 – rowing at Balliol, especially terminology such as scratch boats, torpids, eights, fours. many of these will have to do with commemorative pewter tankards, which regularly come on the market. Balliol has dozens and we do not buy them. I am, however, always pleased to receive photographs and/or transcripts of inscriptions on tankards or other rowing memorabilia. In return I am often, though not always, able to provide a photograph of the crew in question.
• 14 – information about the family tree of John de Balliol and his wife Dervorguilla, Lady of Galloway, founders of Balliol College, and about their son, also John de Balliol, king of Scotland (called ‘Toom Tabard’)
• 9 – Domesday Book for Herefordshire
• 8 – Robert Browning and his manuscripts and artefacts at Balliol, especially The Ring and the Book
• AC Swinburne and his portrait, which is at the Aesthetic Movement exhibition at the V&A spring 2011
• arms and heraldry at Balliol College, including those of John de Balliol and William Grey and the medieval college seals
• Arnold & Bra(c)kenbury society, Nepotists’ carol singing and the Gordouli
• Balliol documents about Jewish history in medieval Oxford, especially about the site of the medieval synagogue
• Balliol poems, Balliol Poetry ed. Kenny & Perry, 2011.
• Balliol,  Oxford and university histories: history of the university of oxford, history of student life in Oxford, Lambeth degrees, Salter’s Oxford Deeds of Balliol College, Mrs Frances de Paravicini’s Early History of Balliol College, Oxfordshire Family History Society, oxford life in oxford archives, Foster’s Alumni Oxonienses
• Balliol’s architecture, including ‘Dervorguilla’s tomb’
• the Balliol – Trinity ‘feud’
• RAB Mynors’ Catalogue of the Manuscripts of Balliol College

• commonplace book of Richard Hill, Balliol MS 354
• Edward Hilliard
• Hilaire Belloc and his poem ‘To the Balliol Men Still in Africa’
• images of Balliol’s buildings and manuscripts
• John Prest – one search was looking for his obituary. I am pleased to report that he is still very much alive!
• look for Balliol Archives & MSS presence in blog form and on facebook
• MR Ridley, Balliol don and model for the appearance of DL Sayers’ fictional detective Lord Peter Wimsey.
• MSS of Duns Scotus’ works at Balliol College
• Nevil Shute
• online resources for understanding archives and manuscripts, learning palaeography, diplomatic, ms reading and transcription skills
• other online resources: EEBO, the Gascon Rolls site
• professional issues for archivists, especially preservation: plastic/melinex protective sleeves, stainless vs plastic vs brass paperclips
• the Balliol Boys’ Club
• wartime short leave courses at Balliol College
• William Bell Scott
• William Burnell

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