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College Archive and History

History of the Robinson College Archive

Robinson College has made provisions for an Archive since its earliest years, overseen by an Archive Committee set up in Michaelmas Term 1980. Dr Joachim Whaley was appointed the first Fellow Archivist. He was followed by Commander George Coupe, who had been successively Secretary to the Trustees, Warden’s Assistant and Junior Bursar before taking on the role of Archivist in 1991. George did much to lay the foundations of the Archive, gathering in papers of the Trustees; minutes of College Council, Governing Body and committees; photographs; papers relating to the original building works; and papers relating to Sir David Robinson, the benefactor.

Successive Fellow Archivists since George’s final retirement in 2003 have been Dr Martin Brett (2003-17) and, since the summer of 2017, Wing Commander Peter Milloy. The Archive was housed in College houses on Adams Road before being moved into purpose-built premises between 5 and 6 Adams Road in May 2020.

A catalogue of the archives was first produced by Commander Coupe in the early 1990s, then maintained by Dr Brett and alumna Joan Bullock-Anderson. 

Access to the Archive

The College Archive is open to all, by appointment (subject to data protection regulations). To make an appointment please contact us:

The catalogue is not yet available online, but it includes lists of the following:

  • College records of the first Warden, Lord Lewis
  • Records of College Council, Governing Body and College committees
  • Administrative records relating to the buildings, the gardens and grounds, and the Chapel
  • Records of the RCSA and the Alumni Association (Pegasus)
  • Records of College sport, music and drama, including the Brickhouse Theatre
  • Photographs
  • Personal and academic papers of some key College figures, including Lord Lewis; Dr Mikulas Teich (a Founding Fellow); Mrs Helena Shire (a Founding Fellow); Commander Coupe; Victor Bugg (the College’s quantity surveyor); and Sir David Robinson (the benefactor)
  • Papers of four of the Robinson College Trustees who oversaw the founding and building of the College (Jack Linnett, Charles Brink, Trevor Gardner and R F (Dick) Holmes).

The above list is not exhaustive and enquiries should be directed to Judith Brown, Library and Archive Manager: