Common Time 2015

Archives and Libraries

Tomb Guardian
The Foundation Charter dated 20 October 1382

William of Wykeham, in founding the College, was from the first concerned to ensure that its records should be carefully conserved, as his statutes reveal. Winchester's oldest records are thus housed - uniquely - in the purpose built room in which they were always intended to be housed. The thickness of the walls in this room maintains a very even temperature, which has helped to ensure over the centuries the survival of the muniments (records) stored there in a remarkable state of preservation.  

In addition to the almost complete archives are the libraries and collections in the School. Individual entries on the main ones may be found on the links above but there are other less accessible collections which Winchester has to offer. One of these is the Natural History Society and Scientific Collection - collections of butterflies, moths, beetles, birds and eggs, plants, rocks, minerals and fossils, scientific instruments, books and journals dating back to 1664 and many other items. These may all be viewed by arrangement with the Head of Biology.

Drawings from the extensive Watercolour collection are occasionally publicly displayed and a selection is always on display in the Warden's Lodgings.   

Above Chantry is the Wykehamical Collection (Wiccamica) of artefacts relating to Winchester, books by and about Old Wykehamists and an extensive collection of photographs. This is now part of the Archives (see above). In general Winchester has a superb collection of resources relating to itself and to the wider world. Its very age might so suggest but unlike many ancient institutions Winchester is remarkable in that so much has survived.