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Distributed for Bodleian Library Publishing

Oxford University

Stories from the Archives

This volume presents fifty-two stories from the institutional archive of Oxford University, which holds records spanning just over eight hundred years.
Established in 1634 and based in the Bodleian Library, the Archives of Oxford University document the University’s activities and decisions throughout that time.

This volume showcases fifty-two documents and objects from the University Archives, telling a wide range of intriguing stories about the University. Arranged chronologically, these items deal with the University’s relations with governments and monarchs; the effects of war; teaching and student behavior; the University’s buildings and institutions; widening access to university education; and the impact the University has had on the city of Oxford and its people. Also documented here are fascinating insights into the University’s erstwhile police force, a hidden time capsule, brewing licenses, brawls, and illicit steeplechasing.

The items also often unlock human stories to which we can relate today, opening a window on the individuals (from University, city, or even further afield) whose lives the University has touched, including people who would perhaps not be expected to feature in a history of Oxford University, but whose stories are preserved forever in its magnificent archives.

200 pages | 90 color plates | 7 x 9

History: British and Irish History

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Table of Contents


1. The University returns to Oxford
2. The University and the book trade
3. Chancellor’s book
4. St Scholastica’s Day riot
5. Oxford and the Trojans
6. The Great Burglary of 1544
7. Langdon Hills, Essex
8. Thomas Bodley refounds the Library
9. ‘Strangers’ at the Bodleian Library
10. Beginnings of a copyright library
11. Selecting the Proctors
12. Laudian Statutes
13. ‘Mechanicall persons’
14. The earliest honorary degrees
15. The Civil War
16. Keeping the city clean
17. Brewing
18. Ampthill Hospital
19. The brawl at the visit of Queen Anne
20. Religious uniformity
21. The Extraordinary Examination
22. Visit of the allied sovereigns
23. Daniel Robertson and the new press
24. The University Police
25. The coming of the railway
26. Horsing around
27. A cathedral of science
28. The first black student at Oxford
29. The ‘mischievous consequences’ of lodging houses
30. Oscar Wilde in the Chancellor’s Court
31. The problem of prostitutes
32. Working class education in North Staffordshire
33. Illicit goings on
34. Pioneer women in anthropology
35. War and the 1914 Vacation course for foreign students
36. Admission of women
37. Women and honorary degrees
38. Green lamps for undergraduates’ cars
39. Honorary degree for Albert Einstein
40. William Morris and the Nuffield Medical Benefaction
41. Appointment opportunities
42. Ashmolean fire-watching
43. War and Occupied Europe
44. University MPs
45. Oxford and West Africa
46. Town-gown reconciliation
47. Welcoming the new universities
48. The new Pitt Rivers Museum
49. Student protest
50. The Sheldonian time capsule
51. The New Bodleian Library remodelled
52. Admission of the first female Vice-Chancellor
Further Reading
Picture Credits

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