Lower Archive Room Index

Index to the contents of the Lower Archive Room

The Lower Archive Room of the University Archives, which occupies the penultimate story of the Tower of the Five Orders in the Old Schools Quadrangle, was allocated for the use of the Keeper of the Archives in 1634. Wooden presses, still in use today, were constructed to hold the records of the University. The location of these and the number of shelves within them account for the reference codes (or shelfmarks) of the documents stored in the room, such as SEP/1/1 (South East Press, shelf 1, item 1).

The Lower Archive Room contains the earlier records of the University (ie those dated up to c1850), except for records of the Chancellor's Court and some financial and estate records. In the 1930s a handwritten catalogue (or, more accurately, shelflist) was compiled of the contents of the room by Strickland Gibson, then Keeper of the Archives. The shelflist did not provide subject access to the material described but simply listed all the documents press by press and shelf by shelf. The index to the shelflist was compiled on handwritten slips in the 1970s and early 1980s and was intended to be a guide to subjects which the material in the Lower Archive Room relates. It was subsequently converted to a word-processed format and substantially corrected and edited in 2002.

The index is arranged in two parts:

1. A list of all the index headings (PDF, 27KB)

2. The full text of the index:

  • Index headings A-D (PDF, 585KB)
  • Index headings E-L (PDF, 312KB)
  • Index headings M-P (PFD, 406KB)
  • Index headings Q-Z (PDF, 334KB)

The index is arranged according to the index headings. Under each heading is the following information divided into three colums:

  • Date - date of the document or documents (year only). Where the document is not dated ('nd'), the following convention has been used to indicate the range in which the date may fall eg nd (1548x1582) - this denotes a date somewhere between 1548 and 1582
  • Reference - OUA reference code for the document(s)
  • Description - brief description of the document(s) which may include specific dates, references to published sources of information or editions of the documents

Abbreviated forms of publications used in the index:

  • Bibliography - Cordeaux and Merry, Bibliography of Printed Works relating to the University of Oxford (1968)
  • Enactments - LL Shadwell, Enactments in Parliament (1912)
  • Mediaeval Archives - HE Salter, Mediaeval Archives of the University of Oxford (Oxford Historical Society, 2 vols, 1920-1)
  • Records - WH Turner, Selections from the records of the City of Oxford with extracts from other documents illustrating the municipal history: 1509-1583 (1880)
  • Statuta Antiqua - Strickland Gibson, Statuta Antiqua Universitatis Oxoniensis (1931)
  • Survey - HE Salter, Survey of Oxford (Oxford Historical Society, 2 vols, 1960 and 1969)

For further details of the procedure for consulting documents from the Archives, please see our Access information. Should you wish to make an enquiry to the Archives about the Index, or any documents listed in it, please contact us.

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