Lincoln College's archives, which form a very streamlined collection, consist mostly of the college's own business records, principally accounts and records relating to the administration of estates (C15th onwards). Student records, in the form of matriculation registers, begin in the late C17th; until the C20th it is unlikely that the archives contain more information than is given in Foster's "Alumni Oxonienses". Other administrative records begin in connected series only in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There is some photographic material, although until after World War II this tends to be limited to rowing teams. There are also some good runs of C20th college publications.
The college also holds some collections of private papers. The main ones relate to: John Wesley and Edward Thomas (both largely secondary material); Mark Pattison; Nevil Sidgwick; Osbert Lancaster; William Warde Fowler (classicist and ornithologist); with a few smaller collections. Please note in particular that the archives contain nothing by or relating to Dr Seuss, except for the bare entries in the matriculation register and battels books, and no primary records relating to the Holy Club.
The Archivist is available one day a week only and this imposes obvious limitations on the amount of research that can be done on behalf of an enquirer. In particular, extensive enquiries relating to the College's estates and properties or tenants on them should in the first instance be addressed to the appropriate county record office or other relevant repository.
For the same reason, enquiries should only be made by e-mail or by letter, and not by telephone. Please also note that access, if necessary, is strictly by prior appointment only, because of limitations on space: we regret that it is not possible to deal with callers who have not made appointments.
Many questions about the past life of the college can best be answered by direct reference to the history by the late Dr. V. H. H. Green, "The Commonwealth of Lincoln College 1427-1977" (OUP 1979). Much useful information on and links to other sources for the history of the university and of Oxford generally can be found at the informative website http://www.oxfordarchives.org.uk/.
Address for written enquiries:
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