Oxford’s Bodleian Library holds nearly a quarter of the world’s original 13th century manuscripts of Magna Carta. Of the seventeen known surviving Charters, three are in the Bodleian, including three of the four surviving 1217 Charters.
In addition the Bodleian holds a fourth “engrossment” (an official document from the Royal Chancery bearing the ruler’s seal) in the shape of a 1225 issue of Magna Carta that once held the Great Seal of Henry III. No other institution has such a concentration of Magna Cartas.
In 2015 the four Oxford Charters will be displayed together for only the second time in 800 years.
Whilst in the area:
The Bodleian contains a unique collection of other exhibits including a pristine Gutenberg Bible, a 14th century copy of the Travels of Marco Polo, Jane Austen’s handwritten compendium of her early works and the Spanish Codex Mendoza account of the Aztec civilization.