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:
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 https://www.firstwomenatoxford.ox.ac.uk/ . 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:
I'm trying to trace my relative who may have gone to Somerville - can you help?
We have a directory of all women who attended Somerville from its earliest days. Please email us your query and you could also try the other former women's colleges Lady Margaret Hall, St Hilda's, St Hugh's and St Anne's.
I attended Somerville as an undergraduate - can I have a copy of my matriculation photograph?
Although Somerville has group photographs of all years from 1930 onwards, the copyright belongs to the photographer Gilman and Soame. Please contact them to order a copy (a fee will be payable).
I am having a clear-out and have found some old letters/diaries/photographs from my time at Somerville - would the College like them?
We are always very interested in Somerville memorabilia. Unfortunately space limitations means that we may have to limit what we can take - please contact the librarian who will be delighted to discuss this with you.