St. Hilda's was founded in 1893 by Dorothea Beale, a major figure in the fields of women's education and female suffrage. It was established in Cowley House on the banks of the River Cherwell. Subsequently the College acquired Cherwell Hall and Milham Ford School on adjacent sites, and further building has created an attractive riverside site. This includes the Jacqueline Du Pré Music Building, a concert hall of professional standards, opened in 1995. Famous alumni include literary scholar Helen Gardener, novelist Barbara Pym and historian Cecil Woodham-Smith.
In 2008, St. Hilda's was the final Oxford College to go mixed by admitting men.
Alongside administrative records, the College archive includes a substantial collection of letters of founder Dorothea Beale (1831-1906) and first Principal Esther Burrows (1847-1935). We also hold the papers of pioneering social worker Lucy Faithful (1906-1996) and composer Elizabeth Maconchy (1907-1994). The archive also preserves photographs, news cuttings, obituaries, written reminiscences and a strong collection of recorded interviews.
Archivist: Mr Oliver Mahony
Opening hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm (by appointment only)
Address: St. Hildas, Cowley Place, Oxford OX4 1DY
Phone: (01865) 276882
Margaret E. Rayner, ‘The Centenary History of St. Hilda’s College, Oxford’ (Oxford, 1993)