Portal:University of Oxford/Selected article/18

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John Wallis

The university's position of Keeper of the Archives dates from 1634, although its records pre-date this, and Oxford claims to have one of the longest continuous record-keeping traditions in Britain. Records were initially kept in the Priory of St Frideswide, moving to the University Church of St Mary the Virgin in the 14th century. The archives were left in considerable disarray by a burglary in 1544, and remained in chaos until Brian Twyne was appointed the first Keeper of the Archives in 1634 as a reward for his work preparing new statutes for the university. Under Twyne and his successor as Keeper (Gerard Langbaine), the archives were moved into one of the rooms in the Tower of the Five Orders in the Bodleian Library; three of the wooden presses that were built at that time to store them are still in use. The third to hold the position, John Wallis (pictured), prepared an index of the collection that was still used in the 20th century. (Full article...)