Archive Collection Policy

Trinity Hall Archives is the record repository of Trinity Hall, a college of the University of Cambridge, founded in 1350. This collection policy is deliberately flexible to allow each potential accession to be judged on its own merits.

Mission statement

The purpose of the Archives is to collect, preserve and promote the documentary evidence for the history and life of the College. This includes records of its administration and finances, land and property ownership, and individual members of the College. Many of these records date from the 16th century but unfortunately the earliest period of the College is not well documented. Nevertheless, the Archives are a valuable and irreplacable source for the history of the College, its position within the University and its relationship with the town and surrounding area.

Scope of the collection

We will collect official records of the College, papers of individuals connected with the College and also items which illustrate a cross-section of College life and which might not normally survive as part of the official record. The following types of material will be accepted: paper and parchment archives; maps, plans, drawings, engravings and photographic prints; audio-visual and computer media; College newsletters, magazines and other publications; posters, menu cards and some artefacts. Copies and transcripts are only acquired where the originals are not available and the material is of sufficient importance to our collections.

Methods of acquisition

Institutional records will be transferred by arrangement with College departments when they are no longer in use. Only records judged to have an administrative, legal, financial or research value will be transferred for permanent retention.

Records from external sources will be acquired by gift and deposit. Gifts are preferred because they ensure that an Archive will be permanently preserved and available for research. We shall, in consultation with donors, evaluate and select only material worthy of permanent preservation. Duplicate or ephemeral material identified in the initial processing of an Archive will be returned or destroyed in a secure manner, according to the donor’s instructions.

Material will be accepted with guidelines on Data Protection and Freedom of Information in mind. Donors’ wishes on the confidentiality and copyright status of material will be agreed in advance.

We aim to assist donors in finding the most appropriate home for their records and may direct records to another repository in line with the national archival framework.

The Archive team will not normally purchase any material, unless in exceptional circumstances.


All records received will be accessioned and receipted to the donor and notice of major new acquisitions will be made public at the earliest opportunity. Records will be sorted, catalogued, and indexed in due course, and copies of catalogues will be supplied to donors.

We have an obligation to store, preserve and make accessible the Archives in our custody in accordance with current professional standards.