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An image of the Trinity College Archive reading room, with ephemera displayed on the walls.

Trinity College

Archive

About

The Archive

The Trinity Archive is home to the administrative records of the college from the Foundation in 1555. These include charters and legal documents, accounts and estate papers, records of elections and admissions, minutes of governance, and plans of buildings. Photographs of college members and buildings date from the 1860s. The Archive also houses records of student sports clubs and other societies, and a rich and growing collection of undergraduate ephemera, including photographs, diaries, memoirs, letters, lecture notes, term cards, menu cards, posters and flyers. Much of this has come through the gifts of past and present college members and their families. As space allows, the Archive also takes in physical objects that reflect the changing material culture of college life, for example, china, sanitary ware, sports clothing and the paraphernalia of smoking.

Special collections within the Trinity archive include the manuscripts and papers of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, and the archives of the Richard Hillary trust. The Archive also has a large collection of prints of the College, and a small reference library of biographical material relating to college alumni and the history of Oxford. 

Using

The Archive

COVID RESTRICTIONS: Until further notice, the Archive is closed to all visitors. Email and postal enquiries are still welcome, and wherever possible, photographs of relevant documents will be supplied. 

The Trinity Archive is open to all researchers, whether students, historians, academics, or private individuals. Almost all of the records are available for consultation, although access to particular documents may be restricted if the condition or nature of the documents requires it. The Archive is stored on two levels within the Chapel tower, where the Douglas Sydney Flemming reading room is open by appointment on Thursdays and Fridays. Material can also be transferred for use in the Library, which is fully accessible. 

The Trinity Archivist is Clare Hopkins. To make an enquiry or to arrange to visit the Archive please contact her at archive@trinity.ox.ac.uk  or write to

The Archivist
Trinity College
Oxford OX1 3BH

Adding to the archive

The Archivist is always glad to discuss possible donations to the college collection. Trinity is interested in a wide range of modern and historical material including printed and digital photographs, letters and emails, academic work and essays, club and society programmes and minutes, and records of college events such as plays, bops, dinners, and balls. Please get in touch if you have a document, photograph, or other item that you think would be of interest.

Archive

Exhibitions

Regular exhibitions of items from the Trinity Archive are used to explore and illustrate many aspects of the college’s history. 

Our current archive exhibition explores the life and legacy of former College President Henry Francis Pelham, whose family grave was recently restored and rededicated, with a celebration event in College. 

 

A historic photograph showing a group of Trinity College students in 1898 outside Staircase 14 in college.

Download the exhibition leaflet: The Life and Legacy of Henry Francis Pelham

Other recent virtual exhibitions are Trinity in Crisis! Trinity in Crisis exhibition and Christmas Day in the Archive...