What can I find in the Brasenose Archives?

The Brasenose Archives are the official administrative records of the college. They are a rich historical resource of college life and its members since its foundation in 1509. The archive consists of papers about the following:

  • Administration and governance of the College
  • College finances
  • College estates including early title deeds, royal charters and manorial court records (e.g. maps, surveys, valuations of property and tenants). These date from the 12th century onwards.
  • College buildings including architect’s drawings and plans
  • Social history of College, including bills from market traders for food, records of sports clubs and other societies
  • Records of students and Fellows, though these are generally fewer than expected. We also hold some memorabilia and personal papers of former Principals, Fellows and students
  • Records of staff

Some highlights of the collections are available to browse on the Library and Archives Flickr pages.

Do you have a catalogue of the Archives?

Many of the Archives (mostly dating from 1907 onwards) are in the process of being listed and catalogued. These catalogues will eventually be made available online, but please contact the Archivist if you have a specific question.

Hurst's Calendar of the Archives

In 1898, Herbert Hurst, an Oxford antiquary, was employed to calendar the College Archives as part of the preparations for the College's 400th anniversary. This 36 volume calendar is in the process of being digitised and more volumes will be added in due course. It includes most of the manorial documents held by the College. If you are interested in any of the documents listed here, please contact the Archivist.

A Guide to Herbert Hurst's Calendar

Vol. 1 (College Estates: Adderbury to Asthrop)

Vol. 2 (College Estates: Balscott to Barford)

Vol. 3 (College Estates: Barton to Burgh)

Vol. 4 (College Estates: Burrow to Buscot)

Vol. 5 (College Estates: Camden to Chipping Norton)

Vols. 31-33 (Bursarial Records)

Vols. 34-35 (General College Records)

Useful links for further research

You may be interested in the Oxford College Archives website, which has been created by the Archivists of the Oxford Colleges. Here you will find a page of useful FAQs as well as links to other College archives, the Oxford University Archives and the Bodleian Library.

You may also find The National Archives webpages of help, especially Discovery.

Another useful resource is The Archives Hub.

If you are interested in the College's oil painting collection please visit Art UK.