About our Collections


Records in Hertford College Archives

The majority of the records in the Archives are those created by Hertford College from its foundation in 1874. Official administrative records and records relating to works to the College buildings from this date are well represented in the collection. The survival of records created by Hertford College’s predecessor bodies has been more haphazard and these bodies are not so well represented. There are no records prior to the 17th century.

The collection consists of:

  • Records of Hart Hall and its successor Hertford College 1716-1820: Governance records and statutes, Library catalogues
  • Records of Magdalen Hall 1661-1874: Governance records, Admissions registers (1849-1874), Library catalogues,  Buttery Books (1661-1874 - please note that due to conservation considerations most of the Magdalen Hall Buttery Books are not available for consultation)
  • Records of Hertford College 1874 onwards: administrative, financial and fabric records of Hertford College from 1874 onwards, some personal papers of former Hertford College staff and students, records of student life and societies, prints, engravings & photographs

 Family History & Alumni research

We can usually confirm academic details such as dates of matriculation and degrees awarded. However please note that the Archives rarely contain biographical information about individual students. We have a small number of records relating to College servants. 

 College Photographs

We have a good collection of College photographs dating from the end of the 19th century, all of which are available for viewing by visitors in person. There are gaps for some years, so we are always glad to hear from Alumni who have photographs which they might consider donating. Please note that most of our photographs have been taken bythe  Oxford  Photography Firm Gillman & Soames. Photographs taken 70 years ago or less are still in copyright so please visit the Gillman & Soames website at https://www.gillmanandsoame.co.uk/ if you wish to order reproductions.

 Rare Books

The Library which formerly belonged to Magdalen Hall is still kept at Hertford College. For further information about this collection go to our Rare Books page or contact the Librarian, Alice Roques.

 Collecting and Donations

Please contact the Assistant Archivist if you have a document, photograph or other item that you think would be of interest.  We are always interested to see items that tell us something more about the College, and we will be happy to provide advice and further information where possible.

We aim to strengthen our collections by acquiring and permanently preserving records created by Hertford College and its predecessors Hart Hall and Magdalen Hall; so if you are considering making a donation the Assistant Archivist would be delighted to discuss this. We are particularly interested in collecting:

  • Personal papers of Fellows, College Staff, Servants and Alumni, especially if they are illustrative of the history of the College or its predecessors
  • Official College photographs and personal photographs of individuals with a close connection to the College, or that are illustrative of College life
  • Records of College societies and related organisations
  • Records relating to significant events in the life of the College

We are happy to consider records in a wide range of formats; however we do not normally accept artefacts, works of art or printed books unless they are directly relevant to the history of the College or our collections.