The Archive is rich in material from the 16th century onwards, including charters, property deeds and letters patent, the most important of which are exhibited in the Old Library.
History of the Archive and Contents
Trinity Hall was founded in 1350, and though few documents survive from that period, the Archive is rich in material from the 16th century onwards, including charters, property deeds, and letters patent. The material in the Archive chiefly relates to College administration, including several sets of bursarial records dating back to the 16th century, records of College estates, and documents and plans relating to the College buildings. As well as general tutorial records, there is material on College societies and sports clubs from the 19th century onwards and collections of photographs of fellows, staff, and students. There is little in the way of personal papers of fellows, even celebrated ones. However, thanks to the generosity of the Elvin family, the diaries of Lionel Elvin, fellow and eminent civil servant of the 20th century, are on loan to the College.
Many items in the Archives such as buttery books, maps and photographs require conservation treatment as they are deteriorating rapidly. Sometimes this is caused by the very nature of their physical condition and often it has been exacerbated by excess handling over the years. Several important items have been conserved recently, including the Praelector’s book, the Benefactors’ book and several photographs.
Conservation of items in the Trinity Hall Archives is not only necessary for records to still be accessible to researchers but also to ensure their long term survival. Unfortunately, due to the great expense incurred through conservation of documents it is not possible to pay for the conservation of some items from the means available to the Archives. As part of our ongoing conservation programme we hope to raise enough funding to help us achieve our goals of conserving the College records in the archives. If you would like to contribute to this work please contact the Archivist.