Balliol College Archives & Manuscripts

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Archives staff

Anna Sander, college archivist and curator of manuscripts

Anna has held the full-time post of college archivist and curator of manuscripts at Balliol since October 2004. Her work relocated with the collections in 2010-11, and is based in the Historic Collections Centre at St Cross Church, Holywell, next to Balliol's graduate student centre at Holywell Manor.

The post's original title of Lonsdale Curator of Archives and Manuscripts was named in honour of Professor Roger Lonsdale, FBA, Fellow Emeritus of Balliol.

Anna looks after the (mostly) manuscript special collections: the college archives, medieval manuscript books, and personal and family archives (modern papers). Her main responsibilities are:

  • researching and responding to college and external enquiries
  • liaising with, invigilating and assisting visiting researchers
  • arranging and describing the collections (listing and cataloguing)
  • preservation, from environmental monitoring and reboxing to invigilation and guidance on correct handling for researchers
  • digitisation (digital photography and scanning of original materials)
  • processing routine accessions and donations to the collections
  • training and supervising students and volunteers working in the collections
  • designing and maintaining this website and related social media channels - facebook, blog, twitter, flickr.

She also

  • regularly supports academic teaching based on the archives and manuscripts, facilitating hands-on workshops taught by academics, with original material
  • provides training to students on the structure and history of western manuscripts, correct handling of archival materials, and planning archival research
  • works with the Librarian and Fellow Librarian to develop departmental policies
  • founded and coordinates the Unlocking Archives seminar series (2013 - ) by current researchers in Balliol's special collections, and provides supporting displays of original material
  • presents talks, tours and exhibitions about the building and the collections at St Cross to college, school and community groups
  • creates regular archives & manuscripts facsimile features/displays for the College Library and Antechapel
  • Anna works with the Librarian and professional conservators of the Oxford Conservation Consortium on
    • planning conservation work on the collections
    • external loans/exhibition administration
    • environmental monitoring
    • emergency response planning for St Cross
  • serves as secretary to the Art & Chattels Committee
  • advises college departments/officers on records management


  • monthly statistics on the blog
  • termly report to Library Committee, and via Fellow Librarian to Governing Body (appears on the blog after those meetings)
  • termly report of display/exhibition activities/events to the Art & Chattels Committee
  • annual contribution to College Charity Commission report
  • annual report in the College Record

Anna is an active member of the Oxford Archivists' Consortium and is on the Management Committee of the Oxford Conservation Consortium. She is a past member of CILIP and a current member of AMARC.

Anna holds a BA (hons) in English Literature and Medieval Studies from her home town University of Victoria (Canada), an MPhil in Medieval Studies from the University of York (UK) and an MScEcon in Archive Administration and Records Management from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She trained at York Minster Archives and worked after qualifying as an archivist at Aberystwyth and the University of Glasgow before coming to Balliol.

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- Anna Sander

You do not need to request permission to download or print one copy of any of the images on these pages for your personal private study or research purposes.
You do need to request permission in writing to use any of these images for any publication in any format, including any use on a website.

The archives and manuscriptss of Balliol College are open by appointment to enquirers in person at the Historic Collections Centre in St Cross Church, Holywell.
Enquiries should be sent in writing (email or post) to the Archivist.
There is no charge for Archive enquiries, but donations for Archive purposes are always appreciated.
Updated 6.ix.17
Balliol College
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