Winchester’s libraries, archive and collections preserve the history of the school, and provide a unique learning resource. Artefacts acquired over the past six centuries often form the basis of a Div discussion, or are incorporated in to everyday lessons.
The College Archives record the history of the school, its estates, buildings and pupils from its foundation. Uniquely, the archives are housed in the same rooms built for their storage in the 1390s, and due to the quality of that provision, remain remarkably well preserved. We welcome enquiries about all aspects of the school’s history.
Some resources can now be seen online. These include registers of pupils, the school magazine (published since 1866), and a published catalogue of the archives. For more information, to make an appointment to visit or to send an enquiry, please contact the College Archivist, Suzanne Foster.
The archives also include details of all pupils who served in the First and Second World War and a dedicated website provides information on all the pupils who fell in these two conflicts.
Moberly Library occupies a beautifully beamed 14th century building which formerly housed the school brewery and the Headmaster’s ballroom. This now forms the school’s main library, with a stock of around 30,000 items. In addition, the library subscribes to numerous online databases, as well as an extensive list of periodicals and their digital archives.
Moberly Library is supplemented by the school’s separate Science and Art School Libraries. Science Library covers all aspects of Science but mainly focuses on Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Medicine and Engineering and is the home of the Natural History Society (NHS) book collection. The Art School Library covers all aspects of the fine and decorative arts, architecture and also offers a variety of film and photography equipment for the boys to borrow.
For more information, please contact the Moberly librarians.
The Treasury houses the school’s collections of art and archaeology. These include artefacts from Egypt, Greece and Rome, casts of the Parthenon Frieze, and Chinese ceramics from the Tang to Qing dynasties. They are displayed in the medieval Warden's Stables, converted into a museum in 2016. Treasury is open to the boys to use with their teachers, or to explore in their own time.
The Treasury is open to the public. Find out more.
Group and school visits are also welcome and enquiries should be directed to the Museum Manager.
The Fellows’ Library contains over 10,000 rare books and manuscripts. It was established at the beginning of the 15th century, and is one of a small number of ancient libraries to have survived with part of its medieval collection in situ. The library has a particularly strong collection in Biblical scholarship, English literature, cartography, and the history of science. Boys have access to the library throughout their time at Winchester: Mathematicians, for example, are shown a first edition of Newton's Principia. Students of English have the opportunity to study the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays. Musicians are able to see song books that once belonged to Elizabeth I.
11th October 2021
An ancient Greek vase, stolen from the school sixty years ago, has been recovered.
24th August 2021
England's largest free heritage festival takes place this September with Heritage Open Days. To celebrate this year's theme of 'Edible England', our College Archivist reflects on some of the unique terminology that has been associated with food over the centuries.
11th August 2021
Each year Winchester College welcomes hundreds of visitors to events, art exhibitions and specialist tours of the school and its collections for Heritage Open Days. This year, in-person events will return to the College with bookings now open.
18th May 2020
The traditional programme of inter-school sporting fixtures has been a feature of life at Winchester for more than 150 years. With no opportunity during lockdown to face familiar opponents, Mark Burley, Director of Sport provides an insight into the history of sport in public schools, as well as the role that Winchester has played in making it such a prominent part of school life.
30th September 2019
The Treasury museum at the school is now free to the public and open daily, as we make these wonderful treasures more accessible to all.
15th August 2019
As part of its commitment to improve access to all, the school has started to run tours for the visually impaired, which are providing a different perspective on many aspects of the school for everyone involved as guides and participants are encouraged to experience the medieval buildings and environment in new ways.