Home > College archives > About our collections > Biography and family history
More in this section About our collections

Biography and family history

We can help you to trace past students or members of staff at Bedford and Royal Holloway colleges, excepting records relating to living people, which are subject to the Data Protection Act.

We are happy to undertake limited and specific biographical and genealogical enquiries. Please contact us with as much detail as possible about the individual you are seeking, including: name (and maiden name), which College they attended, and the dates they attended (if known).

Please note that our collections are not always complete. There are gaps in date coverage and certain documents have not been kept or have been lost. We cannot therefore guarantee that we will be able to find information relating to every individual who attended the Colleges.

The list below is a guide to the records which might be useful. (Our references are in brackets.)

Bedford College

  • List of Students, 1849-1949 (BC AR/201/5/1&4)

    Contain names, dates of entry

  • Student Registers, 1849-1908 (BC AR/201/1/1-8)

    Contain names, termly information on courses

  • Register of Fees, 1849-1963 (BC AR/401/1-21)

    Contain names, county of residence, Hall of Residence, fees.

  • Bedford College student files, 1890-1970s (BC AR/200/1-373)

    The information contained in each file varies but most have a Form of Entrance which records name, age/date of birth, name of parent/guardian, schools attended, qualifications and scholarships gained, referees. Some files contain other information, for example letters of reference and letters from the student.

  • Bedford College Staff Files, 1900-1980s (BC AR/150/1-173)

    Most contain information relating to salaries, pensions, start and finishing dates at the College. Some contain personal letters and letters of application.

  • Bedford College Magazine, 1886-1921 (BC AS/200/1/1-5), and Bedford College Union Magazine, 1921-1941 (BC AS/201/1/1-4)

    These are magazines for past and present students and have information about births, deaths and marriages, articles on retirement and obituaries.

  • Bedford College Old Student Reports, 1922-1986 (BC AS/903/1-3)

    These are the reports of the College Old Students' Association (BCOSA) and contain information on former students.

  • Bedford College Calendars, 1888-1968 (BC AR/241/1-48)

    These hold information about current and past staff and students, including the degrees they were awarded. They also provide information relating to clubs and societies, scholarships and College news.

Royal Holloway College

  • Royal Holloway College Calendar, 1962-1963 (RHC AR/243/69)

    This contains a list of former students and staff of the College (from 1887-1962). Most entries include the qualifications that were gained at the College and some go on to give details of what an individual did after leaving Royal Holloway.

  • Register of Students, 1887-1973 (RHC AR/200/1-5)

    These list each student who has attended the College and include details on their age/date of birth, name of parent/guardian, address, schools attended, examinations taken, scholarships awarded and degree given.

  • Royal Holloway Student Files, 1907-1970s (RHC AR/201/1-39)

    These are not complete and we only hold a relatively small number of student files. The information contained in each one varies, but there is normally an Entrance Form and sometimes letters of reference.

  • Royal Holloway Staff Files (alphabetical files)

    These are generally for more recent staff of the College and once again are not a complete series. The files we do have mostly contain information relating to salaries, pensions and terms of employment.

  • Register of Domestic staff, 1887-1926 (AR/330/1)

    This Register lists domestic staff and salaries, and sometimes has comments about an individual. It is incomplete for some years.

  • Royal Holloway College Letter, 1890-1985 (RHC AS/902/1-127)

    This is a magazine for past students of the College and contains birth, death and marriage notices as well as some articles on staff retirement and obituaries.

  • Royal Holloway College Calendars, 1897-1985 (RHC AR/243/1-89)

    As well as listing names of students and degrees awarded, these contain information on College life including clubs and societies, scholarship information and staff publications.

    Other sources which may help you include the College magazines, Registers of classes and courses and Registers of Fees. We also have a substantial photographic collection. Please contact us for more details on the availability of these records

Contact us 

Archivist: Annabel Valentine 

College Archives and Special Collections
Founder's Library
Royal Holloway, University of London
Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX


Tel: +44 (0)1784 443814 (internal x3814)
Email: archives@royalholloway.ac.uk


Opening hours:


9.30-1 and 2-4.30

Visits to see original documents are by prior appointment only.


Comment on this page

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is there a broken link or content that needs updating? Let us know so we can improve the page.

Note: If you need further information or have a question that cannot be satisfied by this page, please call our switchboard on +44 (0)1784 434455.

This window will close when you submit your comment.

Add Your Feedback