College Archives

Somerville College archives contain the official records of the institution from its earliest times to the present day. It encompasses not only official minutes of the College meetings but also student records, academic staff records, selected correspondence, photographs, annual reports and ephemera.

Since the College was one of the first institutions in Oxford to accept women studying at degree level, the archives of the College provide amongst other things, a valuable insight into the early days of women’s higher education. Researchers wishing to consult the archives should contact the Archivist in the first instance to discuss materials and requirements.

Those who have a general interest in the history of women’s colleges at Oxford may want to consult one of the histories of the College:

Somerville for Women by Pauline Adams (Oxford: OUP, 1996)
Breaking New Ground by Anne Manuel (Somerville 2013)

You may also be interested in consulting our online resource created in partnership with the other four former women’s colleges and the History faculty .  This extensive website includes material from the college archives, commissioned articles on the early days of women at Oxford, a timeline, a walking app  and a facility for you to contribute your own stories, photographs and documents.


Our Blog frequently showcases photographs from the archives and articles about College life

Frequently Asked Questions: