Plague! at Magdalen: Epidemics and College Life


Old Library

Event type

Library, Public


1 February - 5 July 2023


Wednesdays 2-4:30pm

Curated by Dr Michelle Pfeffer and Dr Richard Allen, with Anne Chesher and Leanne Grainger 

From bubonic plague to Covid-19, Magdalen College has been impacted by dozens of epidemics throughout its 564-year history. Through its rich library and archives, this exhibition explores the college’s experience of—and responses to—epidemic diseases, from its founding in 1458 to the present day.

Epidemics have left a lasting mark on Magdalen and on wider Oxford. This exhibition shares stories of Magdalen’s experience of epidemics, showcasing manuscript and print material on the history of plague, smallpox, cholera, typhoid, STDs, Covid-19, and other diseases.

This exhibition is also available to view online!

Please note that the exhibition is free, but that Magdalen College charges an entrance fee to some visitors. Click here for details of admission and access to Magdalen College.

Access: The Old Library is accessed via a steep flight of stairs. There is disabled access via a lift, but please contact us in advance so that we can arrange this for you. Many thanks.