Researching biographical information and family history

Our main sources of reference for members from 1509-1909 are as follows:

We hold a small collection of personal papers of some former members but the National Archives or Archives Hub are often the best places to search for such records if none are held by Brasenose. Some of our more well-known members may also have an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. This list of famous Brasenose names includes more information on some historical figures connected to the College. Other sources which may help include:

  • The Brazen Nose, the annual College magazine (published from 1909 onwards); the Bodleian Library holds back issues and the more recent issues are available online
  • J. Mordaunt Crook’s Brasenose The Biography of an Oxford College (Oxford: OUP, 2008)
  • Brasenose Quartercentenary Monographs (Oxford: Blackwell, 1909)

Please email us at [email protected] if you have a specific enquiry. Please note that under the terms and conditions of the Data Protection Act the Archives staff reserve the right to keep some records closed.

Memorabilia and Personal Papers

The College holds a small collection of papers and records relating to its members. These include:

Walter Pater

Walter Pater was elected to a Fellowship at Brasenose in 1864. A catalogue of the archive collections relating to Pater is available to view here

Cuthbert Ottaway

Cuthbert Ottaway matriculated on 20 May 1869, aged 18. He captained the England football team in the first international match played against Scotland in 1872. The College Archive holds a small collection of Ottaway’s photograph albums and sketchbooks, which are listed here.

John Buchan

John Buchan matriculated in 1895. He pursued widely diverse activities during his lifetime, not only as a writer but in business, journalism and administration. He is remembered for his fiction, most chiefly for The Thirty-nine Steps, but his other publications included a History of the Great War and a history of his own College. The College's records relating to John Buchan can be viewed on Flickr.

Other useful sources

Principal and Fellows

Rolls of Service