Hebrew and Judaica Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford University

MS. Canonici Or. 28

Oriental Manuscripts Canonici Oriental Collection


Hebrew Bible: Pentateuch

ff. 1r-179v
Hebrew Bible: Pentateuch תורה

Blank leaves in the place of Ex. 28:42 to 36:37. At the end of the MS a poem with the acrostic 'Aharon' (perhaps the copyist).

Unfinished: marginal text is often missing, only ruling. Initial words are not finished, sometimes only their outlines are drawn (fols. 48r, 84r), sometimes they have been erased (fols. 1v, 147v)

Language(s): Hebrew

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ff. 185
Dimensions (leaf): 172 × 130 mm.
Foliation: Foliation in Arabic numerals.


Quires of various sizes, no signatures, no catchwords.


Main text is in 2 columns, surrounded by texts running in the margins. Marginal texts are unfinished. Ruling and pricking is visible.


Italian-Ashkenazi square script. Comments on the margin by a later hand ('Rashi" script, 16th century?)


Decoration at the bottom of marginal text (fol. 111v), unfinished initial words, perhaps were to be decorated (e.g. fols. 48r, 84r).

Carmina figurata (fols. 178v-179v)


Red leather binding, gold-tooled.


Origin: [Northern Italy]; [mid-15th century]

Provenance and Acquisition

Ownership inscription by Abraham of Modena: הגיע לחלק כמ’ אברהם ממודינא כשחלק הספרי’ עם כמ’ יעקב אחיו כ"ח יונייו רס"ז (fol. 180r); censor's signature: Fra Luigi 1599 (fol. 183v)

Matteo Luigi Canonici's (1727-1805) collections passed to his brother Giuseppe, and on his death in 1807 to Giovanni Perissinotti and Girolamo Cardina, who divided them. To the former fell the MSS., then about 3550 in number, and, after many attempts to sell them, the Bodleian became the purchaser of the greater part in 1817, for £5444 5s. 1d., or including incidental expenses about £6030, the largest single purchase ever made by the Library. The formal list of volumes handed over was signed on May 18, 1817, and the books probably arrived later that year.

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, vol. I, by Adolf Neubauer, Oxford 1886, No. 38, Catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian Library; Supplement of Addenda and Corrigenda to Vol. I, No. 38, and on the data of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, National Library of Israel with additional enhancements by the cataloguer.


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures contact Bodleian Admissions). Contact specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


MSS R.R. Film No. F 33051


    Neubauer, Adolf, Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1886), no. 38.
    Beit-Arié, Malachi and R.A. May (eds), Catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian Library; Supplement of Addenda and Corrigenda to Vol. I (A. Neubauer’s Catalogue) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), no. 38.