Munimenta academica, or, Documents Illustrative of Academical Life and Studies at Oxford
Henry Anstey (c.1828–c.1914) served as a teacher, curate and chaplain, before becoming a tutor and then vice-principal of St Mary Hall, Oxford. On behalf of the Rolls Series, he prepared in 1868 this two-volume collection of the university's oldest documents in Latin, dating from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries. Offering fascinating insight into academic life in medieval Oxford, this does not constitute a history of the university, but it remains an important resource for researchers, comprising registers, letters, university statutes and details of expenses entailed by the 'usual festivities' after examinations. Volume 1 includes, in addition to the chancellors' and proctors' books, Anstey's extensive introduction, in which he offers a brief background history and describes his struggles in establishing so far as possible a chronological order for the contents, and in dealing with the 'utterly illegible, torn, faded, and stained' condition of his sources.