The Archives of Lincoln College, Oxford

Scope and Content

The records of two estates date from the late 12th century. The administrative archives of Lincoln College begin with the foundation of the College in 1427; several series of records survive only from the 17th century. Up to the mid-nineteenth century the archives consist largely of the College's business and estate records. From the mid-ninetheenth century, increasing quantities of records relating to students, Fellows, societies, correspondence, photographs, ephemera, College publications and personal papers are extant in the collections. The College held estates predominately in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, and Yorkshire with some in other counties; the estates in tandem with several benefactions provided the income for Fellows and scholars.

Administrative / Biographical History

Founded in 1427 as the College of the Blessed Mary and All Saints, Lincoln, by Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln. Its aim was to train men in the strict faith of the church, in part to combat the doctrines of John Wyclif's theology. Bishop Fleming died before endowing the College, but the foundation charter brings together the three parishes of All Saints, St Michael's and St Mildred's, Oxford, into the College governance. St Mildred's chuch was demolished shortly thereafter to make way for the main Quadrangle. The College attributes a second foundation in 1478 to Thomas Rotheram, Bishop of Lincoln, when he obtained a new charter under which the College was to be a perpetual corporation with further privileges and written statutes. On the basis of this more stable foundation, the College has provided education to graduates and undergraduates continuously since the 15th century, with notable Old Members including poet laureate William Davenant, who matriculated c.1618, eminent physician and Oxford benefactor John Radcliffe, Fellow 1670-1675, John Wesley, founder of Methodism, Fellow 1726 to 1751, poet and author Edward Thomas, history scholar in the 1890s, Theodore Geisel who wrote as Dr Seuss, Rhodes scholar in the 1920s, Lord Florey and Sir Edward Abraham who are both noted for their development of antibiotics, David Cornwell, who writes as John Le Carre, who studied Modern Languages in the 1950s, and Stephanie Cook, gold medalist in the modern pentathalon in the 2000 Olympics.

The College held estates predominately in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, and Yorkshire with some in other counties; the estates in tandem with several benefactions provided the income for Fellows and scholars. The records of two estates date from the late 12th century. The administrative archives of Lincoln College begin with the foundation of the College in 1427; several series of records survive only from the 17th century. Up to the mid-nineteenth century the archives consist largely of the College's business and estate records. From the mid-ninetheenth century, increasing quantities of records relating to students, Fellows, societies, correspondence, photographs, ephemera, College publications and personal papers are extant in the collections.

Cataloguing of the archives does not begin in earnest until late in the 20th century. Prior to this, Fellow Octavius Ogle compled a list of charters and leases in 1891-3. The papers of N V Sigwick were cataloged for the Committee on Scientific and Technological Records in 1974. In the early 1980s, Clare Hopkins catalogued the records in the Archive at that time, and her work resulted in the three-volume printed catalogue plus the Sir Osbert Lancaster papers catalogue. Her arrangement and description of the core administrative series form the basis of the current catalogue. Jon Newman continued cataloguing work in the early 1990s using Modes software, and added to exisiting series, additionally listing the photographic holdings. Andrew Mussell was Archivist between 2003-2014 and added to the Printed Catalogue Additions binder using Word. Angela Haighton catalogued the papers of alumnus Anthony Goodman in 2008-2009. Lindsay McCormack updated the cataloguing and referencing scheme in 2016 for consistancy across hierarchical levels, and to ensure each item had a reference and location. CALM cataloguing software was installed in 2016 and work begun to import the Word versions of the printed catalogue imported and updated for the ISAD(G) cataloguing standard.

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment

Conditions Governing Use

Lincoln College, Oxford

Related Material

Manuscript and printed books are in the Library and Senior Library of Lincoln College. Many of the manuscript collections were deposited in the Bodleian Library in 1892. There are records related to members of Lincoln College in the Oxford University Archives.

Corporate Names