The Collection

  • The College Archives contain a wide variety of documents recording the history of Emmanuel College and its Members. Some records, such as admission registers, survive in unbroken series from the date of the College’s foundation in 1584, but there are much older documents in the Archives as title deeds to College properties date from the 12th century.
  • The Archives include records relating to the foundation of the College and its early history as a centre for the training of Puritan clergymen; formal administrative records such as the official College statutes and orders; minutes of the Governing Body and other committees; records of the construction and maintenance of the College buildings and grounds; bursary & domestic accounts; minute books of College clubs and societies and records of student life in general. In addition there is a large collection of prints, photographs, maps and plans. A small quantity of audio-visual & digital material is also held.
  • The College’s landholdings have included, over the years, properties and advowsons in Cambridgeshire and adjoining counties, as well as estates in London and Sutton Coldfield. Some of these properties have been sold but the College retains much interesting historical material about them.
  • The Archives also contain collections of personal papers of former Members. These vary in type and scope, but include correspondence, diaries and academic papers of former Masters and Fellows, as well as collections of sporting and social miscellanea donated by former students.
  • Prior to the 19th century, documentation of individual students rarely extends beyond the bare record of their admission (unless they distinguished or disgraced themselves in some way) and even in the 19th and early 20th centuries there is often very little personal information about students.


  • Donations of College-related material which fall within the Archives’ collecting policy are welcomed. Initial enquiries should be directed to the College Archivist.
  • The College has a small collection of non-archival memorabilia housed in the Douglas Finlay Museum of College Life, in Old Court. Potential donations should be discussed with the Curator.


  • While Emmanuel College welcomes researchers, access to the Archives is at the discretion of the College. Requests to visit the Archives should be made initially to the College Archivist; a letter of introduction may be required.
  • No catalogues are available online at present.
  • Items less than 50 years old will not normally be produced unless they are of a non-confidential nature, and longer closure periods apply to certain classes of records. Requests to see closed records must be made in writing to the Fellow Archivist.

Opening hours

  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9.15am - 4pm.
  • Appointments MUST be made in advance. Please arrange your visit with the College Archivist, giving at least a week's notice.

Contact details

  • Fellow Archivist and Curator of the Douglas Finlay Museum of College Life: Dr Sarah Bendall MCLIP
  • College Archivist: Miss Amanda Goode MA MArAd
  • Address: Emmanuel College, St Andrew’s St, Cambridge CB2 3AP
  • Tel: 01223 334292 (College Archivist)
  • Email: