About the Archives
The documents held in the archives of Magdalen 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 twelfth century), manorial court records from medieval times to modern ones, leases, and maps.
- Documents about the College’s finances from the 1480s onwards.
- Documents about the College’s buildings, including one of the largest collections of architectural drawings in any Oxford or Cambridge College.
- Papers from some former Presidents, 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 here, and search for Magdalen College there, for a list of many of the collections which we hold.
Do note, however, that we hold very few records actually about undergraduates. We also hold almost no records about College servants.
It may be possible to find out where the personal papers of former members of the College are held in other archives or libraries by using the “Discovery” catalogue on the website of The National Archive. Click here to access TNA’s catalogue.
The Archivists of the Oxford Colleges have created a website for their collections. This includes a very useful page of FAQs which answers questions often asked by our researchers. There is also a helpful Glossary page explaining Oxford jargon and terminology. If you have not contacted a College archive before, we suggest that you look at this website before contacting us, as it will help you decide whether we can help you or not. The website provides contact details for archivists in the Oxford Colleges and also links to the University Archives and other relevant institutions.