Note: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College Archives will be closed to visitors until further notice. In the meantime, the Archivist will try to answer such enquiries as he can, but he hopes that researchers will understand if it is not possible to answer some questions as fully as would be possible under normal circumstances.
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 30-40 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 at Jesus are starting to put some of our catalogues of personal papers online. These can be found in the section “What’s in the Archives?” below. This is an ongoing process, and so these lists represent only a small part of our collection. Further material will be put up here in due course.
Use the following links for more information on the College Archives: