Accessing the Archives

Oriel College does allow access to the Archives. However, there is no absolute right of entry for members of the public. The first function of the Archive is to serve the needs of the College and its members, and this takes priority over all other uses, enquiries and access.

Access to the Reading Room can only be gained by stairs. Where this is not possible for a researcher, the college will try to arrange that documents can be viewed elsewhere.

Please note that replies to any postal, e-mail or telephone enquiries will only be answered as time permits. Under no circumstances can the Archivist carry out detailed research on behalf of third parties.

Using the Archives Reading Room

Booking Procedure

The opening times of the Archives Reading Room are Monday and Tuesday, 10.00 - 1.00 and 2.00 - 4.30. Advance booking is absolutely necessary. You are advised to write or e-mail in advance of your visit in order to arrange a time and date and to confirm that the College has the document in which you are interested.

Arrival and Departure

Please remember that visits to view the archives held in Oriel College are by appointment only. The College reserves the right to refuse admission. Please report to the Lodge; the Archivist will be telephoned, and will escort you to the Archives Reading Room. Please note that in the event of a fire alert you should evacuate the building immediately as instructed by staff.

Access to Documents

Access to records will only be allowed after the searcher has signed the visitors’ book, thereby agreeing to abide by the rules of the Archive Reading Room. New readers are expected to provide document(s) confirming their name, address and signature, such as a driving licence, on a first visit.  Readers should always be ready to provide documents of identification when they visit.

Access to certain documents may be restricted for commercial or confidential reasons. This does not affect your rights to access to information under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information Act.

Lists and Indexes

Please note that the archives of the College are not yet listed in detail. While the Archivist will offer assistance he cannot be held responsible for drawing visitors' attention to every available item, printed or documentary, on a specific subject.

Rules for Use of Archives Reading Room

Please read these rules prior to signing in, since by signing the visitors' book you are agreeing to abide by them.

Use of the Archives Reading Room 

  • Please refrain from smoking in the Archives Reading Room.
  • Food (including sweets or chewing gum) and drink (including water) may not be brought into the Archives Reading Room.
  • Mobile telephones should be turned off at all times in the Archives Reading Room.
  • Any person may be required to leave who, in the opinion of the Archivist, is not making proper use of the facilities or is causing unnecessary disturbance to others.

Care of Documents

  • The use of ink, ballpoint and felt-tip is forbidden in the Archives Reading Room. To take notes, you must use either a pencil or bring a laptop. If you do bring your own electronic equipment, please note that there are no power points available.
  • Please handle documents with care (touching them as little as possible) and taking care neither to mark nor damage them.
  • Researchers who damage a record or mark it in any way may be required to pay the full cost of repairing it by any reasonable method required by the College.
  • The Archivist may restrict the number of documents produced at any one time and no visitor may have more than 3 volumes in the Archives Reading Room at any time.
  • The Archivist has the discretion not to produce any record that he feels is too fragile, too damaged or in any other way unfit for production. The Archivist has the discretion to impose restrictions on the use of any document.

Copying

Permission to photocopy, photograph or copy in any other way (e.g. tracing) a record in Oriel College must first be obtained from the Archivist who is empowered to refuse permission. Where appropriate a copyright declaration form must be completed and signed. Subject to this, photocopying facilities are available on request although the age, size, format, or condition of certain documents may make copying impossible. Copying orders will be dealt with as time permits.

Publication

If you wish to publish all or any part of a document seen here please write to the Archivist giving full details of what you want to use and for what purpose. A reproduction fee will normally be payable. The law of copyright must in any case be observed.

Contact the Archives

For any questions, please feel free to contact Rob Petre, the College Archivist:

Email: archives@oriel.ox.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 286545

Mail:
Oriel College Archives
Oriel College
Oxford
OX1 4EW

Please note that the College Archivist works part-time, and so you may find that a response to your query takes longer than expected.