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Papers of Norman Dix (1913-2004), College servant 1931-82

Norman Dix (1913–2004) first came to work for the College in 1931 as an under scout, and then remained a College servant until his retirement in 1982. His father had also been a servant at University College. Within the College Dix worked mainly as a scout and in the Hall, but he became best remembered in the College for also working as its Boatman. He became a much respected and popular figure within the College: in 1981, to mark the 50th anniversary of his arrival in College, he was the guest of honour at the Torpid Dinner, and celebrations were held to mark his 80th and 90th birthdays.

Dix became a keen and successful rower in his own right: not only did he row in inter-Collegiate tournaments for College Servants, but he also became a prominent member of the Oxford University and College Servants’ Rowing Club, and was a regular member of the Oxford crew which held biennial races against a Cambridge servants’ crew.

On Dix’s life, see further the obituaries to him in University College Record Vol. XIV no. 1 (2005), pp. 37–41, and also R. H. Darwall-Smith, ‘Norman Dix Remembers’, in University College Record Vol. XVI no. 2 (2013), pp. 123–36.

Dix’s papers are mostly concerned with rowing, including some very important material relating to rowing among College servants, both at a University and a College level, but also contain other material about his life in the College. The term “College servant” is used in this catalogue in preference to the modern “member of staff”. This reflects Dix’s own opinions: he much preferred to be called a “servant”, and roundly protested if he was ever called a “member of staff”.

The documents in this collection were deposited by or on behalf of Dix at various times from 1993 until his death. Since then, some material was given to the archives which came from his papers. A detailed list of which items were given when is given here.

In addition to the donations made to University College, Dix also gave material to the Centre for Oxfordshire Studies (now part of the Oxfordshire History Centre) and the Henley River and Rowing Museum.

The Dix papers are divided into the following four sections:

    UC:P315/1: Material on Edward Arthur Dix (1873–1930).
    UC:P315/2: Papers on College Servants, especially rowing activities.
    UC:P315/3: Papers on the University College Boat Club.
    UC:P315/4: Miscellaneous material.

Catalogued in September 2015.

A pdf version of the complete catalogue can be found here.