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Archives

The medieval archives, concerned with monastic houses suppressed to endow Wolsey's Cardinal College, such as the Priory of St. Frideswide, Oseney Abbey, and Daventry Priory, with nine other houses, were deposited in the Bodleian in 1927, where they may be consulted, joining deeds relating to the same places pilfered by Anthony Wood in the late seventeenth century. A calendar has been published.

The remainder of the Christ Church archives are kept in the College Muniment Room (though some remain in the College Treasury); they are in the custody of the Archivist to whom application must be made. Battelling books from 1547 have survived, but the Disbursement Books, apart from a mutilated one of 1548, do not begin until 1577.40Accounts start in 1561-2. There is a large quantity of deeds and papers concerning estate management relating to land in several parts of the country, the largest collection belonging to an Oxford college.

Three typescript catalogues have been prepared:

  • a catalogue of manorial records
  • a catalogue of maps, plans and drawings. (This covers drawings kept in the Archives and does not refer to the large collections of drawings kept elsewhere in Christ Church.)
  • a catalogue of Treasury Books, including miscellaneous items.

The first two are arranged by county and then place and copies of them are kept in Duke Humfrey. A typescript calendar of estate papers in numerous volumes is available in the Muniment Room.

Besides the classes so far mentioned there are also the S.C.R. papers of C.L. Dodgson (1832-1898), more widely known as 'Lewis Carroll', and some papers of Claude Jenkins (1877-1959), the ecclesiastical historian.

The Evelyn deposit also contains archival material in papers and deeds concerned with family properties in Wotton (Surrey), Deptford and elsewhere. [N.B., the Evelyn collection is no longer deposited at Christ Church.]

The library records, in the custody of the Librarian, are more extensive than in any other Oxford college; a handlist is available. The Donors' Book, already mentioned, used c. 1614-1841, is the earliest; there is an Admissions Register covering 1698-1726, and separate accounts from 1712; accounts from 1900 are kept in the Treasury. Lists of books sent to be bound begin in 1822, while there is an order book for 1824-61 and an accession register from 1814 onwards. The minutes of the Library Committee for 1869 and 1878-99 have survived, as has the minute book for the undergraduate Reading Room for 1884-1901 and its suggestion book for 1884-1928. The long series of catalogues is outlined below.

It should be noted that the records of the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral, so closely intertwined with the College, are in the custody of the Chapter Archivist, to whom application must be made. They are not extensive and mainly take the form of Chapter Act Books and minutes.

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