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Selwyn Archives


If you have an enquiry, please email the Archives and we will respond when we are able to do so.

The Archivist's usual working hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings.


About the Archives

Selwyn College Archives is the record repository of Selwyn College. Our main objective is to collect, preserve and promote the use of records documenting the history of the College. Selwyn College was founded by public subscription in 1882 to commemorate George Augustus Selwyn (1809-78), Bishop of New Zealand. It became a full college of the university in 1958 and admitted women in 1976. A "Short history" of the College from 1882-1973 can be seen here.

Information about the Selwyn College Archives can be found in CataloguesRecords of Selwyn College and Collection Policy.

Painting of George Augustus Selwyn by George Richmond.
Painting of George Augustus Selwyn by George Richmond.


We are always grateful for photos, memorabilia and stories from your time at Selwyn. We now have a dedicated Archives submission form. So please contact us via this form.

The Archives now have their own Facebook page. 


It is now possible to access all the historical articles from the Calendar (the College's annual publication) for 1894-1939. Please contact the Archivist for details.


Archive Images

From November 2012 images from the Archives have been chosen for the Archive Image of the Month and are available on the Selwyn College Development Office's website. All previous images are then available on flickr.

Poster from College dance 1942, image for June 2015
Poster from College dance 1942, image for June 2015



Selected images from the Archive picture collections are being chosen for a new Picture Gallery. These include the earliest College photographs albums which have recently been digitised.

Many images from the Archives feature in Selwyn Celebrated, which was published in 2007 for the 125th Anniversary of the College. Copies of the book are available to purchase from the College, either in person from the Porter's Lodge or from the Development Office.

For other images of views of the College and College events: see the College Image Gallery. These include some beautiful images of the Stained glass in the Chapel windows, courtesy of the Rev. Steve Day.

Selwyn College's oil paintings are now part of a national online catalogue, Art UK. If you have any enquiries about the College images, please contact the Archivist.



The majority of the holdings of the Selwyn Archives can be found on ArchiveSearch, which is the online catalogue for most archives in collegiate Cambridge. A summary of the main types of archive material can be seen in the Records of Selwyn. You can find more information on ArchiveSearch and how to use it in the guide to ArchiveSearch created by Cambridge University Libraries.

All queries about the catalogues and lists of the Selwyn College Archives and Personal Papers can be directed to the Archivist. The catalogues now include an amended list of the Selwyn Letters which was originally compiled as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) when some of the items in the collection were microfilmed.  This updated version of the list will also be available on ArchiveSearch at a later date.

An external catalogue of the concert programmes, held as part of Selwyn College Music Society Archives, is available here.

Selwyn College Boat Club

As with many Cambridge Colleges, the Boat Club at Selwyn plays an extremely important role in the sports life of the College and has done since the College's foundation. Many of the Boat Club's Archives are held in the College Archives. Please contact the Archivist for information. The history of the Selwyn College Boat Club that was written by A. P. McEldowney in 1972 has recently been digitised and is available to view here. For further information about the Boat Club, please visit their website.

Boat Club, 1926
Boat Club, 1926



Regular exhibitions of Archival material are arranged in College and special displays can also be arranged for reunions or other College events.

Display for the Cripps Reopening Ceremony, December 2014


Information for researchers

Most of the collections held by the College Archives are available for consultation by researchers, free of charge, although the opening hours are limited. Please contact the Archivist in advance of your visit to book an apppointment. If you are planning on visiting the Archives in person we require one form of photographic identification and one other form of identification. The Archive searchroom is compact, but does have electric power points for laptops. Pencils only are permitted for handwritten notes and there is strictly no eating or drinking in the archives. It is also occasionally possible to make reproductions of archive material.

Below are useful links to Selwyn-related material and information about individuals:

Project Canterbury is a free online archive of out-of-print Anglican texts and related modern documents which includes copies of material relating to Bishop Selwyn, senior and junior, John Coleridge Patteson and other contemporaries. There is a new search facility but the material is still arranged in order of region with the former individuals listed under Oceania and Melanesia. One particularly useful source is The Blain Biographical Directory of Anglican Clergy in the South Pacific which includes biographical information on clergy and deaconesses of the Anglican Church in New Zealand, Polynesia, and Melanesia. A biography of the four Selwyn brothers, which is part of the Selwyn Collection, is also available online via Project Canterbury: Memorials of Four Brothers attributed to Laetitia Frances Selwyn (Richmond [London]: Hiscoke and Son, [ca. 1882].

Researchers might also find it useful to search ArchiveSearch, which provides access to catalogues for archive collections held at many institutions across Cambridge. Details previously found under the National Register of Archives (NRA), which is a good starting point when undertaking archival research, can now be found via the National Archives .

Enquiries and Contact details

If you have any questions relating to the collections in the Archives or you wish to make an appointment to consult some Archive material please contact Elizabeth Stratton, the College Archivist. For reasons of confidentiality, not all material may be accessible.  The reading room is only open by appointment only. Researchers may also find it helpful to contact the University Archives held in the University Library.

The College Archivist

The College Archivist, Selwyn College, Grange Road, Cambridge CB3 9DQ Tel. 01223 762014 Fax 01223 335837 email: Archivist