Access to the Archives
Welcome to the archives of Magdalen College, which contain over eight centuries of history about the College, its estates, and its members. The following pages will tell you more about what we hold here, and how to contact us or arrange a visit.
The Archives of Magdalen College are currently staffed by the College Archivist Dr Charlotte Berry (full-time) and the Archives Assistant Mr Ben Taylor (part-time – Thurs/Fri).
Researchers are welcome to arrange to visit Magdalen to consult documents in the archives. The Archivist is willing to answer simple enquiries about the archives by post or e-mail (email@example.com). If, however, the enquiry looks like being a long one, then researchers will be asked to visit the archives in person themselves. We often need advance warning prior to your visit, as our collections are stored in several sites around College.
The Archives of Magdalen College are usually open, by advance appointment only, on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10.00-12.30 and 2.00-4.30 (no longer Thursdays and Fridays).
During autumn term 2018 and spring term 2019, we are trialling a Collection Week, where the archive is closed to all public enquiries and all readers for the first week of the month. This will free up staff time for cataloguing and other project work. As a result, the Reading Room will be closed on 5-6 Nov 2018, 3-4 Dec 2018, 31 Dec 2018, 1 Jan 2019, 4-5 Feb 2019 and 4-5 Mar 2019.
You will need to fill in a short Reader Registration form on your first visit, but no letters of introduction or ID are required. Most documents in the College’s archives are generally available for inspection, if they are in a good enough condition. Records of a more confidential or very recent nature, especially relating to persons still living, are usually closed.
You may only take notes in pencil, not in ink. We also ask you to obey the rules of the Reading Room about the safe handling of documents and about copyright for reproductions and publication. You may usually take your own images of items on request and by filling in a short form.
Please report to the Porter’s Lodge on the High Street when you arrive and ask to be directed to the Old Library, where our Reading Room is situated on the first floor of the Cloister. Lift access is available by prior arrangement, so do get in touch to discuss your requirements.
If you are coming to Oxford by train, take the no. 5 bus – this sets off from just outside the station and has a stop at Queen’s Lane/High Street (outside the Queen’s College) only a short walk from Magdalen across Longwall Street. If you are coming into Oxford by car, we recommend that you use one of the Park and Ride car parks: the Thornhill Park and Ride on the east side of the city will bring you to a bus stop on the High Street which is a 3 min walk away from Magdalen College. Please ask the Archivist if you would like to arrange a disabled parking space (usually located in the staff car park off Rose Lane and adjacent to Oxford Botanic Garden).