Category Archives: Somervillians

Refugees Scholars at Somerville

Helen Darbishire and an extract from one of her letters in support of Lotte Labowsky’s father As with many primary sources, the Somerville Minutes of Council were created as an official record of the insitution yet they are inadvertently informative … Continue reading

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Birthday in Changi Prison

The recent film ‘The Railway Man’ tells the story of Eric Lomax, a British soldier captured by the Japanese in World War 2 and held in Changi Prison before being sent to work on the infamous Burma railway. As well … Continue reading

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Updating the Mary Somerville Online Catalogue

The first phase of this project is almost complete, with the catalogue of the collection amended and updated (in compliance with Bodleian guidelines) and the documents themselves curated and rehoused in archival-standard acid-free folders and boxes. And what a fascinating … Continue reading

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Blue Plaque for Mrs Humphry Ward

On Saturday 28th April 2012, one of the founders of Somerville College and its first Secretary of Council, Mary Ward (also known as Mrs Humphry Ward) was honoured in Oxford with a Blue Plaque on the house in North Oxford … Continue reading

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Rose Macaulay as a caterpillar in 1903

In 1903 several students in their final year at Somerville got together to entertain their colleagues in College  with a ‘Going-Down Play’.  Dressed as an animal that they considered most closely resembled their nature, they appeared on stage whilst a … Continue reading

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Evelyn Irons – War correspondent and Tennis Captain

Reading about the recent untimely death of foreign correspondent Marie Colvin in war-torn Syria I was reminded of Somervillian Evelyn Irons .  Both women were fearless in their  determination to report from war zones and both were very often reported to be the first … Continue reading

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Music in the Snow

In this snap from c 1924, four Somerville students are captured in the snowy grounds of Somerville, playing musical instruments, singing carols and in one case, smoking a cigarette! The photo was given to the College in 1980 by one of … Continue reading

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Opening of Darbishire (East as was)

As the opening of the new ROQ buildings grows nearer, it seems appropriate to show the opening ceremony of a Somerville building from years gone by.  This is an informal snap taken at the 1935 opening of the East Quadrangle (now … Continue reading

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Maude Clarke

  Maude Clarke was a tutor in history at Somerville from 1919 till her early death in 1935.  A noted medievalist in a still largely male academic world, she published important and sometimes controversial work on fourteenth century England with a … Continue reading

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Mrs Humphry Ward

Mary Ward (also known as Mrs Humphry Ward) was a well-known novelist in the late nineteenth century who was instrumental in the foundation of Somerville in 1879.  She was the first secretary of the Somerville Council (a position jointly held … Continue reading

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