Thomas James was a sixteenth century English author and is known as being the first librarian of the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe; it is the second largest library in England with over twelve million items. Thomas James was born circa 1573 at Newport, Isle of Wright. In 1586, James attended an independent boarding school for boys known as Winchester College. He entered New College, Oxford in 1592 and received his Bachelor of Art in 1595. James then became a fellow of New College; in 1602, he was given the post of librarian based on his wide knowledge of books as well as his skill in deciphering manuscripts and detecting forgeries. The first catalogue created by James, which had over eight thousand entries, was called Index Alphabeticus and was first put into use in 1605.
James first written works were translations from the Italian of Antonio Brucioli’s 'Commentary upon the Canticle of Canticles,' which was licensed for the press in November 1597, and from the French of Guillaume du Vair’s The Moral Philosophy of the Stoicks, London, 1598. James was also on a committee working on the Authorised Version of the Bible.
Last Modified: Nov 8, 2019