Digital edition of Sir Hans Sloane’s Catalogues of Miscellanies, Antiquities, Seals, Pictures, Mathematical Instruments, Agate Handles, Agate Cups, Bottles, Spoons

Interactive Data Atlas > Enlightenment Architectures > Digital edition of Sir Hans Sloane’s Catalogues of Miscellanies, Antiquities, Seals, Pictures, Mathematical Instruments, Agate Handles, Agate Cups, Bottles, Spoons

About the Resource

This is an open access scholarly digital edition of Sir Hans Sloane’s manuscript catalogue of the section of his collections known as ‘Miscellanea’ (the manuscript catalogue is held by the AOA Library in the British Museum). The digitised collection is a part of Enlightenment Architectures, a project which has produced open access digital scholarly editions of five of Sloane’s catalogues, Miscellanies, Fossils I, Fossils V, MS 3972C Vol. VI, and MS 3972B.

Enlightenment Architectures was published in December 2019 by The British Museum (BM) in association with the Department of Information Studies and Centre for Digital Humanities at the University College London.

Type of resource and contents

This is a historic collection, providing images of Sloane’s catalogue along with transcribed text, encoded using TEI (Text Encoding Initiative).

Information on digitisation and digital creation

The manuscript catalogue has been analysed, transcribed, modelled and then encoded using TEI. The digital catalogue has been published in EVT (Edition Visualisation Technology) which is a software for creating and browsing digital editions of manuscripts based on text encoded according to the TEI XML schemas and guidelines.  EVT enables free text search, highlighting of named entities in the transcriptions, name and place pick-lists, manuscript image zoom and thumbnail views, adjustments of transcription font size, and much more.

Material included in the original collection

This is a bound manuscript volume held at the BM containing numbered entries that list and describe the vast array of these categories of objects collected by Sir Hans Sloane between the 1680s and the 1750s. ‘Miscellanea’ is composed of seven separate catalogues titled ‘Miscellanies’; ‘Antiquities’; ‘Seals’; ‘Pictures’; ‘Mathematical Instruments’; ‘Agate Handles’ and ‘Agate Cups, Bottles, Spoons’ with indices to the ‘Seals’ and to the ‘Mathematical Instruments’.

In total there are 329 pages. Each catalogue begins with object number one. ‘Miscellanies’ contains 2107 numbered entries on fols. 2-152 (numbers 2108-2111 on fol. 27v are post-Sloane additions to the British Museum). ‘Antiquities’ contains 1129 numbered entries on fols. 153-205 (post-Sloane additions are added on versos only of fols. 178v-198v). ‘Seals &c’ includes impressions of them and contains 268 entries on fols. 206-231. The ‘Index inSigilla, Sigillorum, Impressiones, &c’ is on fols. 232-236v. The references in the Index are to underlined words in the catalogue and to the Roman numeral page references. ‘Pictures &c’ includes drawings and contains 471 entries on fols. 237-271 (two post-Sloane additions are on fol. 271). ‘Mathematical Instruments &c’ contains 55 entries on fols.272-277 one post-Sloane entry is on fol. 277). The ‘Index to the Mathematical Instruments’ is on fols. 278-281 and the references are to the catalogue numbers. ‘Agate handles &c’ contains 239 entries on fols. 283-303. ‘Agate cups bottles spoons &’ contains 303 entries on fols. 304-329.

Metadata, Media and formats

A set of descriptive – project focused – metadata is available capturing the high-level elements of the resource, such as Release authority, Publisher, Publication place, Project Investigators, Document modelling etc.

The volume is encoded in TEI XML and the contents enjoy both TEI structural elements (e.g. Text Division, Heading, etc.) and the contextual elements; Author, Publication place, Date and Format.

API / Download

The XML TEI version of the catalogue is available from the UCL research depository (RDR) at

Usage and citation

According to the project website, all data content is reproducible as long as the source is indicated by referencing the publication and the name of the institutional owner of the original catalogue. The images are not downloadable and have different citations.

Citation for images: British Museum images of Miscellanea: © The Trustees of the British Museum. Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence

Individual citation for the catalogue:  Sir Hans Sloane’s Miscellanea which comprises his catalogues of Miscellanies, Antiquities, Seals, Pictures, Mathematical Instruments, Agate Handles and Agate Cups, Bottles, Spoons. Digital Edition. Kim Sloan, Alexandra Ortolja-Baird, Julianne Nyhan, Victoria Pickering and Martha Fleming Eds. 2019.

Further information

The citation page on the website for further info is at:

Contact person

Kim Sloan and Julianne Nyhan are the key people to contact. Please feel free to contact them directly, or otherwise contact us to bring you in touch.


Tips for using the Interactive Reader

  • Users can select elements such as date and bibliographic information from the “entities selector” menu located on the bottom menu bar. Depending on the edition entities may include: places, materials, bibliographic information, measures, size, weight, quantity, texture, value, catalogue, and index.
  • The “search” feature in the bottom menu bar enables free text search throughout the catalogues.
  • For some editions the reader also provides a “Lists” functionality, allowing users to locate person names and place names available in the catalogue through a “List of persons” and a “List of places”.
  • The interactive reader also allows for the headings on the page to be read in five languages (English, Italian, French, Czech and German); however not all content is automatically translated to these languages.

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