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The College Archives

Many of the documents created since the foundation of the College in 1440 have been preserved in the College’s archives. The Foundation Charter has pride of place but there are many other records concerned with the College’s early years, including the original grant of arms, the wage books recording the names of the workmen who built College Chapel and Lower School, and several items signed by the founder, Henry VI. There are also records which are earlier than 1440, because when the College was given estates as part of its endowment it took over their archives too. The earliest item in the archives is a confirmation by William II of a grant of land in Suffolk dated 1091.

Until the late eighteenth century the archives relate almost entirely to the Provost and Fellows, the 70 King’s Scholars, and the administration of the College’s estates, and we do not have a complete record of Oppidan Etonians until 1791. More detailed information about individual boys and about the school routine becomes available in the 1860s. Former pupils or their families have given letters and diaries which supplement the official record.

The archives are kept in College Library. They can be consulted by appointment: please telephone the Archivist, Miss Eleanor Cracknell, on 01753 370 592, or click here to send her an enquiry.

Please note that administrative records are generally closed for 40 years; the Archivist will advise readers wishing to see records relating to boys.