How to contact Oxford college archives
If you are doing family history research or for any other reason want to find biographical information about a former member of an Oxford college who has been deceased for more than a year or so, you should get in touch with the archivist.
College alumni or development offices deal with living alumni. College offices / senior tutors / registrars deal with current students. Contacting them about deceased members of college will result in an email round-robin and a delay in response.
If you are not sure which college your research subject belonged to, check these sources according to period:
- pre-1540: Emden, AB.A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to AD1500, 1957-9, and A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford AD1501 to 1540, 1974. Not available online.
- 1500 – 1714: earlier volumes of Foster’s Alumni Oxonienses
- 1715 – 1886: later volumes of Foster’s Alumni Oxonienses – links here
- 1880 – 1892: Foster’s Oxford Men and their Colleges
- pre-1932: Oxford University Archives
- post-1932: Oxford University Degrees Office
If you do know, or once you find out, which college your research subject belonged to, contact that college’s archivist for further information. Contact details for all colleges that have an archivist are available at http://www.oxfordarchives.org.uk/college%20archives.htm
If you have a query that may apply to several or all colleges, you can save a lot of cutting and pasting of addresses by sending it to the college archivists’ mailing list at oac[at]chch.ox.ac.uk.