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Elias Ashmole

Ashmole, Elias (ăshˈmōl) [key], 1617–92, English archaeologist and antiquary. He made exhaustive antiquarian studies, especially The Institution, Laws and Ceremonies of the Order of the Garter (1672) and The Antiquities of Berkshire (3 vol., 1719). In 1677 he donated to the Univ. of Oxford a collection of curiosities, including his own contributions and those bequeathed to him by a friend. His gift formed the nucleus of the Ashmolean Museum ăshmōˈlēən, the first such public institution in England. He later donated his library to Oxford, and the whole was housed in a building erected by Sir Christopher Wren. The collection is now in a 19th-century building and includes European works of art from medieval to present times as well as Asian works.

See his Autobiographical and Historical Notes and Correspondence, ed. by C. H. Josten (1967).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Elias Ashmole from Infoplease:

  • Ashmolean Museum - Ashmolean Museum Presented to the University of Oxford in 1682 by Elias Ashmole. Sometimes called ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Scholars, Antiquarians, and Orientalists: Biographies


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