Selwyn College, Cambridge

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Archive Image of the Month

Let Selwyn's Archivist, Elizabeth Stratton, give you a taster of the College archives. Every month Elizabeth selects a particularly interesting piece from the archives and provides an insight into its history and significance. 

 Archive Image of the Month – August 2017

The Other Selwyn

John Richardson Selwyn © National Portrait Gallery, London
© National Portrait Gallery, London

The Library and Archives team are delighted to be hosting another exhibition as part of the Open Cambridge weekend in September. This exhibition focuses on John Richardson Selwyn, second Bishop of Melanesia and second Master of Selwyn College. Often obscured by the influence and achievements of his father, George Augustus Selwyn, in whose honour Selwyn College was founded, JR Selwyn led the Melanesian Mission for nearly twenty years (1873-1891). He formed intriguing collections of artefacts that testify to his interest in the peoples living in the Diocese of Melanesia. The display brings together objects and archival materials from Selwyn College and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to reflect on a little-known period of John Selwyn’s life. 

Then, and later as Master, John Richardson Selwyn suffered from ill-health; and it was his disability that led to the college tradition of taking the loyal toast seated.

The display will be in the College Library and is open during the Open Cambridge weekend on Friday 8 September from 10-4 and on Saturday 9 September from 10–2. The display will remain in the Library throughout September and will be open by appointment during usual working hours.

As always, any questions about the College Archives can be directed to the Archivist on We are always grateful to hear from members of College about any photographs and memories you may have of your time at Selwyn and they can also be uploaded directly here:

Previous Archive images can be seen here:

Elizabeth Stratton, September 2017

The Archivist is always delighted to arrange Archive visits and to receive Selwyn memorabilia, photos and stories. To contact Elizabeth Stratton, please email:



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