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.
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 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.
The Archives of Magdalen College are usually open, by appointment only, on Thursdays and Fridays from 10.00-12.45 and 1.45-4.30.
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 nature, especially about persons still living, are usually closed.
You may only take notes in pencil, not in ink. You may, however, bring your laptop with you, if you have one (although we do not have any spare ethernet points). We also ask you to obey the rules of the searchroom about the safe handling of documents.
Our searchroom, in the McFarlane Library, is situated up a tower, accessible only by means of a spiral staircase. Where this is not possible for a researcher, arrangements can be made for them to consult documents in a ground-floor room nearby.
If you are coming to Oxford by train, the no. 5 bus, which sets off from just outside the station, has a stop at Queen’s Lane only a few yards away from Magdalen. If you are coming into Oxford by car, we recommend that you use one of the Park and Ride car parks: driving, let alone parking, in the centre of Oxford is not all easy.