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 the girls, Edith Standen (1923) though we cannot be sure which one she is. As ever, if anyone has any information that might help us identify the carollers, please do leave a comment or get in touchgirls-in-snow-compressed

Somerville Boat Club

Somerville boat club celebrates its 90th anniversary this year!  Here is a photo from its early days in 1925 with a boat crew being coached by ‘Best, the waterman’ in a flat cap. Crew members are:

Stroke: Dominica Legge (1923), [unidentified], Jocelyn Matthews (1924), Enid Jeeves (1924), Marjorie Seaver (1924), Lucy Sutherland (1925), Agnes Newbigin (1925), [unidentified].  As ever, any names or corrections gratefully received!

“A Group of Merry Oxford Girl Students”

This clipping from The Sphere in 1922 shows a group of jubilant Somerville students clutching what appear to be degree certificates outside the Sheldonian.  It was only in 1920 that women were admitted as members of Oxford University and therefore able to receive degrees, so these students were some of the first women to graduate from the University.  Unfortunately we have not been able to identify any individuals – unless anyone can help?  The Sphere was an illustrated weekly newspaper that ran from 1900-1964 and in 1922 ran a feature on Somerville College from which this photo is taken. 


1921 Group with Professor Gilbert Murray


A group of tutors and students from 1921 under the Principalship of Emily Penrose (seated in the second row from the front directly under the central pillar). Sitting next to Miss Penrose is Professor Gilbert Murray, noted Classical scholar, internationalist and strong supporter of women’s higher education.  He was a member of the Somerville Council from 1908 to 1957 and chaired the Library Committee untill a few months before his death at the age of 91. 

Members of staff are featured in the second row and include Hilda Lorimer, Emily Penrose, Alice Bruce, Mildred Pope, Maude Clarke and Vera Farnell. Unfortunately we do not have student names for this photo and we would be very interested if anyone can provide any information about them – please use the comments box below or email the library@some. 1921-and-gilbertmurray

Two Principals, two princesses and a pioneering Indian lawyer

In this group from 1891, Miss Maitland the Principal (with dark bonnet) is surrounded by her staff and students, including future principal Emily Penrose (3rd from the right in the 3rd row), pioneering Indian lawyer Cornelia Sorabji (far left end of the second row from the front) Indian princesses Bamba and Catherine Duleep Singh (front row far left) and Clara Pater (on the right of Agnes Maitland). sorabji-and-princesses