About Jesus College/History/Libraries and Archives/
What’s in the Archives?

The College Archives hold a large collection of documents, photographs, and printed papers, beginning with Elizabeth I’s foundation charter in 1571, which constitute a rich and unique resource for the study of the people, decisions, traditions and events that have contributed to the development of the College we know today.

The first forty years of the College’s history are surprisingly poorly documented, but after that period these are the types of records which we hold here:

  • Records on the Governance of the College, including College Registers back to 1602, Governing Body minutes, and versions of our Statutes from 1622.
  • Financial records, including Bursar’s accounts from 1631 to 1881 and a nearly unbroken series of Battel and Buttery Books from 1637 to 1947.
  • Records on the College’s estates in both England and Wales. However, deeds relating to properties which the College no longer owns have been given to the relevant county record offices.
  • Plans, drawings and related papers concerning College buildings.
  • Papers on College clubs and societies, including JCR minute books from 1892, and ephemera and photographs relating to the College’s sports clubs, and its Music Society.
  • Admission Registers and related records from 1882.

In addition, donations of documents and photographs by Old Members of the College and external sources are always welcome because they help the College Archivist to add to this hugely important resource and to research new and forgotten areas of College life. In return, the resources of the Archive are made available to all enquirers with a need to use them – academics, Old Members, local historians or those just interested in what their grandparent was doing at Oxford.

We are now starting to put some of our catalogues of personal papers online. These can be found below. This is an ongoing process, and so these lists represent only a small part of our collection. For example, some of the more significant collections of personal papers which have yet been published online include:

  • Papers of the Victorian historian J. R. Green (1837-83)
  • Papers of Francis Mansell (Principal 1620-1, 1630-48 and 1660-1)
  • Papers of Sir Leoline Jenkins (Principal 1661-73)
  • Papers of Thomas Pardo (Principal 1727-63)