Clare College Cambridge

The College Archives

Letters patent of Edward III: license to Master and Brothers of St John's Hospital, Ely, to receive gift (in mortmain) of property at Ely, Littleport, Downham, Doddington and Elm (CCAD/3/3/32/1/1)

    Letters patent of Edward III, 1358   (CCAD/3/3/32/1/1)

The purpose of the Clare College Archives is to preserve the documentary evidence of the history and life of the College and to provide relevant access to that documentary evidence.

The archive includes records of an administrative and academic nature, college clubs and societies, finances, land and property owned by the college and records relating to individual members of the College. Many of these records date from the sixteenth century although the earliest period of the College is not well documented since a large proportion of the original muniments were destroyed in a fire in Old Court in 1521. Nevertheless, the Archives provide a valuable insight into many aspects of the history of the College and College life from the 16th century to the modern day.

The records may be divided into the following areas:

  • Governing Records - Statutes, election papers, Council minutes
  • Internal Administration - Minutes of committees, Fellows' accounts, Buttery accounts, Library registers
  • Property and estate papers - Deeds, terriers and surveys of the many College properties in and around Cambridge and further afield in places including Stepney, London, Leamington Spa and Scarborough
  • Academic and tutorial - Admission Registers, Tutorial accounts, examination results
  • Clubs and societies - Boat Club, Rugby Club, Clare Association
  • Photographs - Matriculation, sports teams
  • Papers of individuals – Mainly official papers but also some private and personal papers. Noteworthy collections include musical manuscripts of Cecil Sharp and William Denis-Browne as well as records of Masters of Clare such as Samuel Blythe and Henry Thirkill.




Enquiries and Access


We will be happy to answer enquiries where possible - please consult these resources first, in case the answer to your question is already online:

Owing to time constraints, we cannot undertake detailed research on your behalf, but will provide whatever assistance we can. Often the best way to find the information you are looking for is to visit the archive in person. 

We are open to the public by appointment, generally for two hour slots in the morning or afternoon - please contact the archivist if you would like to book a place. Please note that the archive is only staffed on a Monday and Tuesday, and we aim to respond to emailed enquiries within ten working days. (Enquiries received by post or over the phone may take a little longer).

Clare College Archives, Memorial Court, Queen's Road, Cambridge, CB3 9AJ

(01223) 765059