School History & Archives

The Archive Department collects and preserves records and artefacts relating to the history of Cheltenham College, makes them available for research and manages a programme of talks, tours and displays.

The Archive Department holds the official records of Cheltenham College, Cheltenham College Preparatory School, and the Cheltonian Society, as well as records relating to all aspects of College life. This includes letters, magazines, minutes, photographs, prints and drawings, programmes, and pupil registration forms. An extensive library, comprising books by (or about) Old Cheltonians, on the local area, military regiments and on schools and education, is also available for all to use.

Visiting the Archive

If you have a personal connection with Cheltenham College or are interested in studying the history of the school, you are welcome to get in touch.

The College archives are open to researchers by appointment only, Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm (excluding public holidays). The Archives Team will be pleased to help and advise you with your research and may also undertake limited research on your behalf. This research service is undertaken at the discretion of the Archivist.

Please note that there may be restricted or limited access to some records. Under the current data protection legislation, records containing the personal data of individuals are closed within their lifetime. However, any past pupil or employee may have access to material which relates solely to him or herself.

College Timeline: The Anne Cadbury Room

The Anne Cadbury Resource Room is an annex to the library which showcases the history of the College through photographs over the decades since the College was first founded. Download the booklet here to see the images from the timeline and the captions explaining what they represent.


If you have, or are aware of, any documents or artefacts relating to College or former pupils, staff or Council members then the Archives Team would love to hear from you.


For further information, please contact the Archives Team at

Highlights from the archives

Highlights from the archives


Nomination forms, 1841-present

These are a record of every pupil who has attended College in its 180 year history and are often the first contact a pupil had with College.

They provide an ideal first point of reference for all enquiries coming into the College Archive.


Order of service for the dedication of the New Chapel, 1896

This service was actually delayed until December 1896 and so we are very lucky this item wasn’t destroyed.

For the past 125 years our Chapel has been offering pupils and staff a beautiful space to sit quietly and reflect. As with everything at Cheltenham College, Chapel has changed gently over time but remains at the heart of College life.


Boys in Collegers, c.1920s

Of all the photographs in the archive, this never fails to draw a smile. The distinctive hats ‘Collegers’ were a key component of College uniform for its first hundred years. These pupils walked out of the quad in 1920s and this photograph captures the still familiar bustle of College life.


Junior School Scrap Book, 1952-1953

I love this item. Most of the archive is records about pupils in The Prep and College but this is a wonderful account of life in The Prep created by the pupils and in their own words. It is full of beautiful illustrations and newspaper cuttings and tells you what the pupils thought was important to record for future generations.


Building Plans 1850s-present

The technical drawings of our College buildings are always particularly interesting. The College Archives serve the school by providing as full and thorough a picture of the school’s history as possible. An awareness of where we have come from allows us to build positively for the future. These plans, taken from the College Archives collection, literally have the foundations of our school within them.

The Cheltonian Society

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