Archive & Special Collections

Last updated: December 2018

Girton College Archive and Special Collections encapsulate the history of the College – from its pioneering foundation in 1869 as the first residential higher education college for women, through the admission of women to the University of Cambridge in 1948 and the subsequent admission of men to the College in the 1970s, to the forward-looking and vibrant Girton familiar to today’s students.

The Archive holds and collects records of the College, including administrative records and the personal papers of former and current Fellows and students. Our collections are an important resource in the study of women’s history, and particularly in the history of women’s higher education. The collections also include material on nineteenth and twentieth-century feminism and women’s social history.

In addition, there are some 15 Special Collections in the College Library. In the early days, Girton received copies of their own work from supporters such as George Eliot, Charles Darwin, and John Ruskin. More recent gifts have included a Shakespeare Second Folio, a “Treacle” Bible, and a fifteenth-century Flemish Book of Hours. The scholarly texts in these collections often provide insights into the lives and scholarship of their previous owners.

About our collections

Using the Archive and Special Collections

History of Girton College

Littler Reading Room opening hours

Monday to Thursday

9.30am - 4.45pm (closed for an hour for lunch)
Closed at weekends, Christmas, Easter, and for 2 weeks in the summer

Further information about the Archive

Hannah Westall
Archivist and Curator
t: +44 (0) 1223 338897

Further information about the Special Collections

Jenny Blackhurst
t: +44 (0) 1223 338970