The Archives at Campion Hall

The Archive Collection at Campion Hall is modest but of considerable interest.
The main sequence of archives traces the history of the Hall’s buildings and social life since the establishment of the first Jesuit Hall of studies in rented premises in St Giles, its confirmation in 1916 as a Permanent Private Hall of the University under its present name, and the move to the Lutyens Buildings in Brewer Street in 1936. There is a considerable photographic collection, as well as small discrete collections of published books, manuscripts, and offprints of works by notable members of the Hall. There is lively documentation, in the JCR books, of undergraduate life and humour; there are many letters of thanks from distinguished guests (the Hall has always prided itself on its hospitality, the subject of an essay by Evelyn Waugh of which we have the autograph). But the single sequence of papers, photographs and drawings which is of most significance for the scholarly public is the documentation relating to the buildings and planning of the Hall, especially the wonderfully detailed sequence of plans, specifications, accounts and sketches relating to Sir Edwin Lutyens’s work on the Brewer Street buildings and their furnishings in the years 1934-36.

This archive is perhaps different from an average Oxford College archive: the conventions of Jesuit record keeping are clear and uniform worldwide. The Campion Hall archive so far contains only the physical and social history of the House (Historia Domi) documented in records of events of notable achievements of members (prizes for academic or athletic distinction), with much material relating to buildings. But the personal archives or correspondence of members will usually be held by ABSI the Central Jesuit Archive at Mount Street in London, or in some cases in the papers of the Jesuit House in which they died.

There are two subsidiary collections: the papers of the Hopkins and Dickens Scholar Humphry House (1908-55) which are kept with the main archive, and the “Art Files” sequence of documentation of purchases and conservation of the works of art which constitute the College Art Collection.

A collection of the Manuscripts of Gerard Manley Hopkins are also held at Campion Hall.