Welcome to the archives of University College, which 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.
Details of and access to our Online Catalogue van be found here.
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Please note: These pages relate only to the archives of University College; if you are looking for the main University Archives of Oxford, they can be accessed here.
The Archivist of University College is Dr Robin Darwall-Smith - he can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
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, go to the ARCHON directory of record repositories on the website of The National Archives, to find a list of the collections which we hold.
We hold very few records actually about undergraduates before the 20th century. We also hold 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 on-line index of the National Register of Archives, which can be viewed here. This is also on the website of The National Archives, available here.
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. If, however, the enquiry looks like being a long one, then he will advise searchers to visit the archives themselves.
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.
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.
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 the site here.