- notes, frequently asked questions and useful links from the archivist and curator of manuscripts at Balliol College, Oxford. Opinions expressed are strictly the author's own!

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Oliver Smithies Lecture

Oliver Smithies Lecture

Professor Stephen Brown, who gave an Unlocking Archives talk on Monday, will give his second Oliver Smmithies lecture entitled ‘Revealed Religion as an Intellectual Discipline’ on 4 March 2015 at 5.00pm in Lecture Room 23 at Balliol.

The first Smithies Lecture was a tour of the origins of the Arts curriculum in medieval Oxford, and its development from a faculty based firmly in the seven liberal arts of the Trivium and Quadrivium to an Aristotelian philosophy faculty. The second will examine western medieval theologians’ study of medieval Arabic writers including Ibn al-‘Arab and Ibn Rushd (Averroes).

Professor Brown is Professor of Church History at Boston College, Massachusetts, and Director of Boston College’s Institute of Medieval Philosophy and Theology. The Oliver Smithies Lectures are funded by a generous benefaction from Professor Oliver Smithies, which enables Balliol to bring distinguished visitors to the University of Oxford.


History thesis fair

2nd year History undergraduates, start your engines: the thesis is upon you. We can help! Come to the Thesis Fair next Wednesday 5 March 3-5pm (check your timed slot – Balliol people 3-4) for one to one professional advice from archivists and librarians from the colleges and across the university – discover the wealth of archives, manuscripts and printed special collections both ancient and modern open to YOU, no matter which college you are at. 
http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/history/training/UGtraining


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monthly report January 2015

A few numbers about what was happening at St Cross during January:

  • Number of remote enquiries: 113
  • Number of researchers in person: 6
  • Number of person-days in the reading room: 7
  • Collections consulted: medieval mss (4), Jenkyns Papers, college archives
  • No of non-research visitors: 11
  • blog posts: 3
  • interesting events: medieval mystics reading group continues, JCR evening viewing, staff emergency preparedness training

monthly report December 2014

A few numbers about what was happening at St Cross during December (to Friday the 19th):

  • Number of remote enquiries: 42
  • Number of researchers in person: 4
  • Number of person-days in the reading room: 3
  • Collections consulted: personal dossiers, Nicholas Crouch manuscripts, Mallet Papers, Morier Papers
  • No of non-research visitors: none
  • blog posts: 2
  • archivist’s adventures: attended AMARC’s meeting at the British Library; visited the Intellectual Property Office re the launch of the new Orphan Works Register; taught a class at Queen Mary for postgraduate early modernists about to embark on mss research

Q&A: the Register

When using the Balliol College Register images online, I am confused by sets of usually 3 initials in parentheses, following the Balliol years in the education section of many entries. What do they mean?

Initials in parentheses are those of that student’s Balliol tutor(s). You can find a list of tutors’ initials just before the Index, and then use the Index to find that tutor’s own entry.

College Register 2nd edition 1833-1933

College Register 3rd edition 1900-1950


a query

How can I access a copy of George F. Kennan’s Reith Lecture of 1957? Many thanks.

Thank you for your enquiry re Reith lectures of GF Kennan (George Eastman Professor at Balliol College 1957/8). If you Google ‘kennan reith lectures’ you will see that the BBC has made audio and full transcripts available online.


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