About the Archives

Homerton College Archives are composed of a large and varied collection of documents primarily relating to College administration, but also including a wealth of photographs, architectural plans and drawings, examples of student work and ephemera illustrating daily life in the College.

The institutional records of Homerton’s predecessor bodies, as well as a number of private papers, also form part of the archival holdings.  John Horobin, Principal of Homerton College from 1889-1902, brought a mass of documents with him when the College moved from London to Cambridge in 1894.  Among the earlier items in the archives are two minute books of the King's Head Society, which date from 1782 to 1843 part of a complete run of minutes, held by Dr Williams’s Library documenting the origins of Homerton Academy.

Homerton also holds minute books and annual reports of the Congregational Board of Education dating back to 1843, College Trustees' minute books, Principals' reports and the Papers of John Lloyd Brereton, the founder of Cavendish College (1876-1891), whose site Homerton acquired in 1894. The Papers, given to the College in 1952 by J.L. Brereton's grandson, include family letters, pamphlets, lectures and correspondence with Samuel Morley and the Duke of Devonshire.  The gift of Brereton’s papers has made it possible to study his contribution to the education of the middle classes and to write the history of Cavendish College.   

Homerton’s archival collections provide a unique and comprehensive resource for studying the history of education. They have been used for research into the Voluntary College movement and the contribution of the Congregational churches to popular education, as well as supplying information about elementary schools in the nineteenth century.

The survival of the College’s records and those of its predecessors is the result of the continued care of many Principals, College historians, officials, former students and friends, many of whom have enriched and broadened the collections with their bequests.

Homerton College: a Brief History by Peter Warner

Timeline by Peter Cunningham


The college archives contain a wide variety of documents reflecting the history of Homerton College, among them:

  • King’s Head Society minute books
  • Documents relating to Cavendish College: architects’ correspondence and plans, prospectuses and circulars
  • Joseph Lloyd Brereton Collection:  family letters, pamphlets, lectures and sermons, correspondence with Samuel Morley, the Duke of Devonshire and Earl Fortescue,
  • Students’ registers 
  • Minutes of Governing body and other committees
  • Records of bursary and domestic accounts
  • Records of construction and maintenance of college buildings and grounds
  • Information on college clubs and societies
  • Collection of social and sporting memorabilia
  • Examples of early students’ craft work
  • Souvenir albums
  • Photographs, architectural plans and maps
  • Collection of audio visual material

Visiting and Contact

Homerton College Archives welcome visitors: archive resources are available to the members, staff and students of the college, the wider academic community and the public. Requests to visit should be made in writing to the archivist: archives@homerton.cam.ac.uk

Appointments should be made in advance

Copying charges and regulations

Opening times

The Archive is open by appointment Thursday and Friday 9.30-4.00 please contact the archivist on 01223 747111