Oxford Primary Sources

This list may help you start in your research into Oxford-related primary sources, whether archival or published.  

Please also see: 

The Oxford Archivists' Consortium Bibliography

Oxfordshire History Centre

The Bodleian Library's Finding Aid: African and Commonwealth subjects

Oxford University college archives

Oxford University Archives

as well as other sources listed on our Resource page



Crockford's Clerical Directory (1858-)

Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford

    Alumni Oxonienses (1500–1714) (1891–92)

    Alumni Oxonienses (1715–1886) (1891–92)

    Oxford Men and their Colleges (1893), lists all of those admitted between 1880 and 1892.

Legacies of British Slave Ownership Database

Men and Women of the Time (1852-; later incorporated within Who’s Who)

National Archives  

    Officers’ service records (1764-1913)

    Printed annual army lists (1754-1879)

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Who Was Who (1897-)

Several colleges have also printed biographical lists, eg. Andrew Hegarty, Biographical Register of St John's College, Oxford, 1555-1660 (2011); Valentine Sillery, St John’s College Biographical Register (4 vols; 1978-90).



Cherwell (1920-)

Isis (1892-)

Jackson’s Oxford Journal (1753-1908) – available on the British Library Newspaper database

Oxford Magazine (1883-)

Oxoniensia (1936) 


The Bodleian Library holds many useful collections of individuals, including the papers of Cecil Rhodes (1853- 1902), Frederick Lugard (1858-1945), Roy Welensky (1907-1991), and the Brooke family of Sarawak.  You may also want to investigate the Bodleian Library's holdings of institutional collections, including the Anti-Slavery Society, the Africa Bureau, the Fabian Colonial Bureau and the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. See more on the Bodleian's collections, catalogues, and finding aids.  

Regent’s Park College, Oxford holds a substantial collection of material relating to the Baptist Missionary Society through its Angus Library and Archive