Balliol Historic Collections Centre - Balliol Historic Collections Centre, Sunday 11th September, 11.00-16.00

Sunday, September 11, 2022 - 11:00 to 16:00
Balliol Historic Collections Centre

First built in 890, St Cross Church houses Balliol College’s historic collections of books and manuscripts.

Arguably the oldest of all the Oxford colleges, Balliol has one of the longest continuous histories of any educational institution in the English-speaking world. The College Archives contain well over 10,000 items, covering all aspects of the College’s history from its earliest years to the present. 

Balliol also holds many collections of modern personal papers, with notable strengths in 19th- and 20th-century politics, diplomacy and education, including Balliol alumni T.H. Green, and Harold Nicolson, Benjamin Jowett (Master of Balliol (1870-1893), and the papers of the Mallet and Morier families; and an extensive holding of literary manuscripts including material by Balliol alumni Matthew Arnold, Arthur Hugh Clough, and Graham Greene, and Robert Browning. 

Balliol’s early libraries include 20,000 early printed books dating back to the 15th century and 400 early manuscripts including a part of the Domesday Book (1160-1170), Richard Hill’s memorandum book (the unique source of many English carols) and the library of William Gray, Bishop of Ely, which has been called ‘by far the finest, as well as the largest, private collection to survive in England from the Middle Ages’.


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