The archives of Univ contain eight centuries of history about the College, its estates, and its members. The following information will tell you more about what we hold here, and how to contact us or arrange a visit. Below you will also find details of and access to our Online Catalogue.
Univ’s Archivist is Dr Robin Darwall-Smith E: Robin.Darwall-Smith@univ.ox.ac.uk
About the Archives
The documents held in the archives of University College fall into several categories:
- Documents about the administration of the College, including statutes and minute books.
- Documents about the College’s estates, including many early title deeds (some dating back to the late twelfth century), manorial court records from medieval times to modern ones, leases, and maps.
- Documents about the College’s finances from the 1380s onwards (an edition of the accounts for 1381/2-1596/7 has now been published).
- Documents about the College’s buildings, including plans and drawings.
- A few papers of former Masters, Fellows, and undergraduates. To find out more about the personal papers we hold here, see the ARCHON directory of record repositories on the website of The National Archives.
We hold very few records actually about undergraduates before the 20th century and almost no records about College servants.
A good place to find out where the personal papers of former members of the College may be kept is the online index of the National Register of Archives.
Accessing the Archives
Note: We are pleased to announce that the College Archives will reopen to visitors from Monday 5 July, at the usual opening times. Visits will once again be by appointment only. However, we ask that, at least for the time being, we receive only one visitor at a time (no couples), and that all visitors wear masks in the archives.
Researchers are welcome to arrange to visit University College to consult documents in the archives. The Archivist is willing to answer simple enquiries about the archives himself by post or e-mail (Robin Darwall-Smith E: Robin.Darwall-Smith@univ.ox.ac.uk) If, however, the enquiry looks like being a long one, then he will advise searchers to visit the Archives themselves.
The Archives of University College are usually open, by appointment only, on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10.00-1.00 and 2.00-4.30.
Most documents in the College’s archives are generally available for inspection, if they are in a good enough condition. Records of a more confidential nature, especially about persons still living, are usually closed.
In the interest of protecting our collections, please remember to bring a pencil for taking notes. You may, however, bring your laptop with you, if you have one. We also ask you to obey the rules of the searchroom about the safe handling of documents.
It is possible to obtain reproductions of documents from the library or the archives. Visitors are allowed to bring digital cameras with them and photograph items for their private research only. The Librarian or Archivist reserves the right to forbid photography of documents in a particularly fragile state.
Some documents can be photocopied, but only at the Librarian or Archivist’s discretion.
The Librarian or Archivist can arrange for high-quality images, both print and digital, to be taken by a professional photographer. Details of services and fees are available on request.
For more information about obtaining reproductions of images, contact the Archivist (Robin Darwall-Smith E: Robin.Darwall-Smith@univ.ox.ac.uk) or Librarian (Elizabeth Adams E: Elizabeth.Adams@univ.ox.ac.uk)
Robin Darwall-Smith, A History of University College, Oxford (Oxford University Press, 2008).
A, D. M. Cox and R. H. Darwall-Smith (eds.), Account Rolls of University College, Oxford, 1381/2-1470/1 and 1471/2-1596/7 (Oxford Historical Society, new series volumes xxxix and xl [1999 & 2001]).
Robin Darwall-Smith (ed.), Early Rolls of University College Oxford (Oxford Historical Society, new series volume xlvi )
The University College Record, our annual College magazine, has since the 1920s published many articles on aspects of College history, whilst the eight-volume History of the University of Oxford, published between 1984 and 2000, is a rich source of material about the history of Oxford University in general. For further information see our Publications page.
The Oxford Archives Consortium (OAC) lists other useful works, as well as a glossary of Oxford terms, some frequently asked questions about Oxford, and gives the names of other College archivists – visit oac.web.ox.ac.uk
Below are Univ’s online catalogues of our larger collections. However, as putting these items online is a gradual process, they cover only a small portion of our complete holdings.
If you have any questions about what you see here, please contact the Archivist, Dr Robin Darwall-Smith E: Robin.Darwall-Smith@univ.ox.ac.uk
Papers of Former Masters
These records consist of the personal papers of Masters, and certain official records created solely by them.
John Appleton (Master 1403-10)
Thomas Benwell (Master 1428-41)
Thomas Caius (or Keys) (Master 1561-72)
Anthony Gate (Master 1584-97)
John Bancroft (Master 1610-32)
Thomas Walker (Master 1632-48 & 1660-5)
Joshua Hoyle (Master 1648-54)
Richard Clayton (Master 1665-76)
Obadiah Walker (Master 1676-89)
Edward Farrer (Master 1689-91)
Thomas Bennett (Master 1691-2)
Arthur Charlett (Master 1692-1722)
Thomas Cockman (Master 1722-45)
John Browne (Master 1745-64)
Nathan Wetherell (Master 1764-1807)
James Griffith (Master 1808-21)
George Rowley (Master 1821-36)
Frederick Charles Plumptre (Master 1836-70)
George Granville Bradley (Master 1870-81)
James Franck Bright (Master 1881-1906)
Reginald Walter Macan (Master 1906-23)
Sir Michael Ernest Sadler (Master 1923-34)
Arthur Blackbourne Poynton (Master 1935-7)
William Beveridge (Master 1937-45)
John Herbert Severn Wild (Master 1945-51)
Arthur Lehman Goodhart (Master 1951-63)
Papers of Former Fellows
These records consist of the personal papers of various former Fellows of University College, and certain official records created solely by them.
Laurence Radford (Fellow c. 1349-61)
Robert de Elwyk (Fellow c. 1350)
Thomas Fourneys (Fellow before 1381)
John Alkebarow (Fellow 1382/3–90)
John Goldsmith (Fellow 1430–8)
Thomas Thomson (Fellow 1509-14)
Richard Jennings (Fellow 1573-85)
John Browne (Fellow 1575-1612)
John Elmhirst (Fellow 1621-51)
Ezreel (or Israel) Tonge (Fellow 1648-c. 1652)
Ambrose Bennet (Fellow 1649-before 1658)
Thomas Genings (or Jennings) (Fellow 1650-c. 1655)
Thomas Thornton (Fellow 1651-6)
John Alleyne (Fellow 1754-80)
Robert Clarke (Fellow 1777-82)
Francis Simpson (Fellow 1781-98)
William Glaister (Fellow 1821-38)
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (Fellow 1838-51)
Peter Goldsmith Medd (Fellow 1852-77)
Edgar Frederick Carritt (Fellow 1898-1945)
Arthur Spencer Loat Farquharson (Fellow 1899-1942)
William Johnson Sollas (Fellow 1901-36)
Kenneth King Munsie Leys (Fellow 1908-42)
Edmund John Bowen (Fellow 1922-65)
Anthony David Machell Cox (Fellow 1939-80)
Thomas Maynard Parker (Fellow 1952-73)
Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart (Fellow 1952-68)
Sir Peter Gretton (Fellow 1965-79)
Papers on College Estates Outside Oxfordshire
University College has owned estates in areas outside Oxford since the 14th century. This section gives details of the earlier records relating to these states. It is not yet a complete list of all the properties owned by the College.
Land in Oxford and Great Marlow, Bucks., bequeathed by John Browne (Master 1745–64), 1755–1971
Property in Montgomeryshire, Wales, 1543–1935
A Rent Charge on property at Rotherwick, Hampshire
Land at Edgiock, near Inkberrow, Worcs., 1610–1922
Land at York, Healaugh and Wighill
Marks Hall and the Manor of Marcie Fee, Margaret Roding, Essex
Property at Hailey, Oxfordshire, 1485-1920
Property at Paull, Holderness, Yorkshire, 1311-1617
Property at Waterstock and Woodstock, Oxfordshire
Property in and around Pontefract, Yorks.
The Estate of Handley Park, Northamptonshire, 1601-1939
The Living of Checkendon, Oxfordshire
The Living of Elton, Huntingdonshire
The Living of Headbourne Worthy, Hants., 1786–1935
The Living of Kingsdon, Somerset
The Living of Melsonby, Yorkshire
The Living of North Cerney, Gloucestershire
The Living of Tarrant Gunville, Dorset
The Living of Viney Hill, Gloucestershire
The Rectory of Arncliffe, Yorkshire
These consist of any documents which were not created by the College itself, but are closely related to it. Almost all of them whose provenance is known have been deposited with the College Archives by outside bodies or individuals.
Papers of Michael Leppard (matr. 1956)
Drawings by E H New (1915-19)
Photographs from Norman Albone (1919-2012)
Papers of Erich Adolph Alport (1903-72)
Memoirs of John Edward Anderson (d. 1982)
Papers of Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904)
Papers relating to Sir Charles Barry (1795-1860)
Papers of Harold Swainson Brodribb (1910-86)
Papers of Archibald Campbell (1902-89)
Papers of William Carr (d. 1925)
Papers of Hugh Barham Carslake (d. 1943)
Photograph Album of Arthur Finch Charrington (d. 1922)
Papers of Robert Henderson Clapperton (d. 1970)
Ephemera of Claude Delaval Cobham (1842–1915)
Papers of Desmond Cooper (1914-2001)
Papers of Bert Cummings, College Servant (1901-83)
Papers of Ernest de Selincourt (1870–1943)
Papers of Edward Edmonds (1916-2011)
Diary of Howell Justin Evans (1903-92)
Papers of George Godfrey Ewing (1910–76)
Papers of Philip Cawthorne Fletcher (1882-1961)
Ephemera of William Kennedy Fotheringham (d. 1998)
Photographs from Michael Gilbertson (1915–2009)
Correspondence on Herbert Gladstone (1854–1930) from Gilbert Murray
Notebook of Colin Gordon (1929-2007)
Memoirs of Dunstan Hadley (1921-2000)
Papers on Edward Hales (d. 1690)
Papers of Eric Hamilton (1890-1962)
Papers of Paul Swain Havens (1903-80)
Papers of Frank Hawking (d. 1986)
Papers of Kenneth David Druitt Henderson (d. 1988)
Photograph album of John Horsfall (matr. 1859)
Papers of Francis Hume Kelly (matr. 1859)
Photograph Album of Arnold Kirke Smith (matr. 1869)
Wall plaster from Alistair Curtis Leeson (d. 1991)
Papers of Sir Andrew McFadyean (1887-1974)
Papers of James Gordon Stewart Macphail (d. 1986)
Undergraduate Notebook of Thomas Maude (d. 1865)
Letter to Thomas Maurice (1754-1824)
Memoirs of Robert Mendl (1892-1983)
Photograph Album of Frederick Charles Mills (1848–1938)
Memoirs of Thomas Paterson Morley (1920-2012)
Letter from Percy Shelley, 1814
Photograph Album of Richard Douglas Slater (d. 1949)
Autograph poem by Stephen Spender (1909-95)
Papers of David James Strawbridge (1920-2012)
Papers of James Capellen Tinne (d. 1925)
Photograph album of William Bryan Todd-Naylor (d. 1916)
Papers of Donald Ross Davidson Vass (1929-2006)
Papers of Geoffrey Odell Vinter (d. 1981)
Papers on John Webster, College Organist (d. 1974)
Papers of John Wilkins, College Servant 1906-72
Papers of Noel Salvesen (matr. 1911)
Papers of Anthony Wood (1632-95)
Papers of Jeffrey Howles (matr. 1950)
Papers of Norman Dix (1913-2004), College servant 1931-82
Photograph Album of John Hill (matr. 1859)
Photographs of Robert (Robin) James Brocklehurst (1899-1995)
UC:P320 Collection of Title Deeds, 1578-1833
UC:P321 Copy of “The Cross and Martlets”, 1881
Ephemera of Christopher Hughes (1918-2005)
Ephmera of Harry Percy Lambe (1915–2009)
Papers of Edwin George Noble (1914-89)
Ephemera of Frank Pearson (1935-2012)
Letter from Frederick Charles Plumptre Master 1836-70)
Letters from Sir William Jones (1746-94) and Lord Eldon (1751-1838)
Miscellaneous Domestic Bursars’ Notices, 1880–1930
Cartoon of College and University Life, 1880
Notes on the sending down of the College in 1880
Reminiscences of Colin Cooke (1903-2001)
Papers of John Yeldham (d. 2000)
Papers of Herbert David Ziman (1902-83)
Document concerning Handley Park, Northants., 1630s
Circular from the Oxford Tradesmen’s Association, 1848
Petition on College Expenses, 1864
Cutting on the Millenary Feast of 1872
Photographs of Miscellaneous College Views
Photograph of the University College Essay Society, 1879
Further Notes on the sending down of the College in 1880
Photographs from an unknown album, 1896
Photograph Album of an OUDS production, 1899
Miscellaneous Dinner Menus, 1903-36
Pages from a Photograph Album, 1860s
Three Photographs, 1913/14
Rowing Postcards, 1914
Testimonial from C. S. Lewis, 1927
Freshers’ Photograph, 1928
Photographs of Masters and College Servants
Score of “The Voice of the Spirits” by Howard Skempton
Photographs and Papers of Michael George (b. 1943)
John Beal Group Photograph, 1926
Freshmen’s Photograph, 1928
Papers of the Hopkinson Family
Photograph album of Alan Herbert Fyffe (matr. 1903)
Ephemera of Michael Scaife (matr. 1953)
Papers of Nigel Tully (matr. 1961)