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The Annual Report of the Fellow Archivist 2007

This is the twenty-sixth Annual Report under the arrangements approved by the College in 1981.


In addition to several substantial accessions of files from college offices, photographic accessions have featured largely this year, notably from NV Bevan (Balliol 1960), RW Clifford (Balliol 1945), the Chaplain and NJ Ramsden (Balliol 2004). Details of all accessions are available in the Accession Register.


Balliol’s membership of the Oxford Conservation Consortium began in October 2006, and work has progressed well.

An exhibition for Fellows displayed the first-fruits of the membership: 14 17 th-20 th century maps, all in poor states of preservation, have been flattened and repaired. Most were not in a fit state to be safely unrolled before, and several were falling to bits; now they are all safe to produce for enquirers. Large card folders with clear melinex covers facilitate safe consultation.

We have recently received back a restored photo album covering non-rowing sporting groups 1914-1928. The photograph albums are a popular resource and the conservation work has made the album safe to photograph and produce for enquirers. Before and after photos of conservation work are on the website via


During January – May 2007 there have been 207 enquiries to the archives, slightly more than in the same period last year (195). The total for 2006 was 510 enquiries. The mix of enquirers is similar to previous years: requests for historic administrative documents from within the college, a wide range of enquiries from academics in Oxford and other universities in the UK and abroad, and a solid base of family historians from around the world enquiring about individual past members.


Work continues to create detailed lists of the ca. 800 unsorted collections in the Miscellaneous Bursary Papers, Miscellaneous College Office Papers and General Miscellany classes (most of this material rescued from filthy cellars thirty years ago). Interest expressed by current incumbents of College livings during the Chaplain’s conference in September 2006 has prompted some reorganisation and more detailed cataloguing of the Patronage Papers class.


2006-7 has been a year of exhibitions for the Archives.

  • Ecclesiastical patronage exhibition for Balliol Livings conference, Sept 06
  • Old Members’ reunion (arranged by P Pockley, Balliol 1958) – Gaudy Sept 06
  • Visit of HM King Harald V of Norway (Balliol 1960), Nov 06
  • Benefactions – Guest Night dinner Dec 06
  • Maps conservation – Consilium dinner, Feb 07
  • Visit of Oxford Newcomers group
  • Spring Gaudy (1962-4), Mar 07
  • Visit of NATO personnel (including several Generals), May 07

An exhibition celebrating the 500 th anniversary of the College’s Statutes of 1507 is planned to coincide with the Summer Gaudy in June. It will be open throughout 9 th week and it is hoped that all resident members will take an interest in it. A Guide has been printed, and there will be further publicity.

The exhibitions on ecclesiastical patronage and conservation of maps have been added in virtual form to the new archives website; there are also new exhibitions about AL Smith (Balliol 1865; Exhibitioner, Fellow and Master) and RL Nettleship (Balliol 1865; Scholar, Fellow and Junior Dean). A searchable database of inscriptions on sporting memorabilia (blades, trophies, tankards) is available at It is very largely the work of the late President of the JCR. Sporting and other photographs are indexed and searchable at

The college archivists again staffed a table at the third annual History Thesis Fair, held in May in the Exam Schools. We have noticed a small but significant increase (i.e., from practically none to an interested few) in the number of students using college archives for dissertations and theses.

Work placements

I have again been fortunate to work with several excellent current undergraduate assistants this year: Tessa Roberts, Cady Pearce and Beth Lister before the start of MT06; and Katherine Cross, Claire Delahunty, Beth Lister, Cady Pearce and Sarah Williams during the Easter Vac 2007. Work placement efforts this year have been concentrated on basic preservation and numbering (i.e. tidying up) of the Balogh Papers for the Library.

Continuing Professional Development

I attended a conference on ‘Developing the 21st Century Professional: A learning continuum for archivists and records managers’ in Aberystwyth in June 2006 and a training day on ‘Managing the Library and Archive Environment’ at the National Preservation Office, British Library, in Feb 2007.

Enquiries about the archives can be directed to Anna by post or by email at
Enquiries about living old members should be directed to the Development Office.

- John Jones and 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 manuscripts 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).
There is no charge for Archive enquiries, but donations for Archive purposes are always appreciated.
Updated 11.viii.14
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