FROM students ice skating on Port Meadow to images of weird and wonderful insects.

These are just some of the pictures which Oxford University is gathering, as it makes its photo archive available to the public.

All of the university’s colleges, museums and departments have been called upon to bring together a comprehensive online database of images – some dating back more than 100 years.

The website — — was launched last week.

They show the changing face of the university, from an early photograph of ladies in large dresses punting on the River Cherwell in 1895 to a group of victorious female rowers from Keble College celebrating after a race in Eights Week in 2010.

Andrea Stern, who set up the Victoria and Albert Museum’s picture library, is collecting and digitising the pictures.

She said: “We are pulling together all the resources from the Ashmolean Museum, the Botanic Garden, the colleges and the Natural History museum.

“We are talking to the Bodleian Library and the Pitt Rivers Museum as well as anyone who wants to talk to us.

“We are trying to get it into a single simple image resource. We have got quite a wide subject matter and gradually we are building it up.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s Oxfordshire History Centre in Cowley is also submitting pictures to be digitised.

The website already has 6,000 images and the total number is set to grow.

Most of the pictures which are being submitted to the archive have already been digitised and are being put up on to the website, where members of the public can access them.

University head of design and publications Anne Brunner-Ellis said: “There is huge demand for images of Oxford, with the city hosting around 10 million tourists each year — it is also the centre of numerous films, TV programmes and books.

“We wanted to bring together our wonderful collections of rich and varied images from across the university into one easily searchable library.

“This resource will be of benefit both to members of the university and commercial organisations who want to have access to high-quality, correctly captioned material.”

Members of the public will have to pay to use the pictures, with the cost depending on how many they buy and what they intend to use them for.


  • Christ Church viewed from the meadow


  • Degree Ceremony in 2011


  • A students' dining club at Corpus Christi 


  • Skating on the frozen Thames at Port Meadow in 1890


  • The mosaic tiled floor in the reception area of the Examinations Schools