The Archive Collections

The archive is one of the largest college archives in Oxford. The records date from the 12th century up to modern times.

Although the catalogues are not yet on-line, there is an electronic catalogue which we hope will be available in the near future. Please feel free to ring or e-mail to ask any questions about the content of the archive. The archive does not hold any diocesan records. These may be consulted at the Oxfordshire History Centre. Records relating to living people are subject to the terms of the Data Protection Act. There is also a section which deals with the history of the archive, and it is hoped to set up a similar one relating to the history and administration of the library.

The Archive consists of a number of series:

Records of the Dean and Chapter


Chapter Books and minutes from the foundation


Service sheets from the late C19, including those for special services

Records of the choir and the cathedral school (limited)

Installation documents for deans and canons

Registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials                      

Deanery papers


Admissions records

Personal papers of the deans (limited)

Papers relating to benefactions, gifts and trusts

Early material on Cardinal College, including the accounts of Robert Amadas, royal goldsmith, and the 1525 endowment of property.          

Governing Body papers


Minutes from 1867

Committee papers

Buildings records

Originally a sub-section of Governing Body papers, this series comprises records dealing with new buildings, and maintenance and repairs. The archive also holds a number of architectural drawings from the C18 to the present day.

Clubs, society, and personal papers

Minute and rule books of clubs and societies

Theatrical programmes and related correspondence

Papers relating to and by individual members of Christ Church.

This series includes the large collections belonging to:

Hugh Trevor-Roper (Lord Dacre);

Tom Driberg (Lord Bradwell) MP;

and smaller collections relating to the work of:

Geoffrey Drage MP;

Nigel Lawson MP (Lord Lawson of Blaby);

Cyril Evelyn (poet);

Ralph Hewins (biographer). 

The collection of papers relating to the Phillimore family of judges and lawyers has been transferred from the library to the archive, and will undergo detailed listing as soon as possible.

Please note that permission to consult and/or publish anything from the papers of Hugh Trevor-Roper must be obtained in advance from Professor Blair Worden, Lord Dacre's literary executor. A brief listing of the papers is available on the Dacre trust website.

Permission to publish material from the Driberg collection must be sought from Ms Georgia Glover, David Higham Associates, 5-8 Lower John Street, London, W1F 9HA.

The large collection of papers relating to Lord Portal and the 2nd World War are retained by the Library.

Common Room records

Minute books, accounts, correspondence, etc. relating to the administration of the Senior Common Room. NB. This section includes a considerable amount of material by Charles Dodgson from his period as Curator of Common Room but material relating to Dodgson as Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's adventures in Wonderland, are held by the Library.          


Albums and loose photographs belonging to college clubs and societies, and topographical images. The Boat Club is particularly well-represented, and we hold matriculation photographs from 1947.

Manorial documents

As part of its endowment, Christ Church was given the lordship of around 20 manors in England. Many of these have been sold with the landed estate over the years although a few remain in Christ Church's possession. The records held in the archive are, on the whole, post-medieval.

Treasury papers

The Treasury papers form approximately half of the archive, and was the section initially catalogued by Dr Geoffrey Bill in the 1950s. As a consequence, it contains items which would not necessarily be considered Treasury (estates bursary) papers today. Principally the section deals with the financial administration of the college and cathedral, and particularly with its landed estate. As such it contains terriers and surveys, rent books, conveyances and leases, etc. However, it also includes material like the collections books, which record the termly reading of undergraduates from c.1700 to the late C19; the correspondence of George Chinnery, an undergraduate in the first decade of the C19; the building accounts of Tom Tower and Peckwater Quad, etc.

Steward's Office

The Steward's Office (domestic bursary) was created in 1867 and took over from the Treasury the administration of accommodation, catering, conferences, etc. Its records include those of special dinners, student room allocations, and domestic staff.

Censors' Office records

The Censors are the academic administrators of the collegiate part of Christ Church. Many of its records are subject to the Data Protection Act and, as such, are not available for consultation. The section contains some material relating to the appointment of senior staff, and all the files relating to undergraduate and graduate members from c.1867. Until the 1930s, these files are often extremely thin. Rarely do our records hold any information on wives, mothers, or children, and often very little on post-Christ Church careers.

Development and Alumni Relations

A relatively new department, the Development and Alumni Relations Office exists to keep in touch with members once they have left Christ Church, and to raise funds for the college and cathedral. Like the records of the Censors' Office, much remains subject to the Data Protection Act. Most of the material in the archive from this office relates to surveys of old members and fundraising literature.