The Ridley Hall archives cover a span of 100 years, from the College’s foundation in the 1880s up to the present. The College’s institutional archives are largely uncatalogued, although finding aids do exist, and work is ongoing.
The College owns a manuscript letter of 1550 by Nicholas Ridley to Bishop Hooper on the vestments controversy (held at Cambridge University Library), along with first editions of Ridley’s publications (see Library Collections below) and memorabilia.
The Charles Simeon papers are Ridley’s largest special collection, comprising over 300 documents and papers relating to Simeon, including manuscript letters, and sermon and lecture notes.
The College also owns Simeon’s annotated Bible, his Greek New Testament, his Book of Psalms, and other memorabilia. The manuscript collection includes 52 letters to Charles Grant MP at India House, relating to the choice of men as chaplains to the East India Company.
The College also holds the papers of former alumnus Hugh Evan Hopkins relating to his biography of Simeon, Charles Simeon of Cambridge (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1977).
The John Newton collection consists of 20 manuscript letters from Newton to his patron John Thornton, and a manuscript notebook of Newton’s sermons transcribed by a Mr Richardson.
The College possesses five manuscript notebooks compiled by the immediate family of Richard Cecil after his death, which were donated to Ridley by the Cecil family along with Cecil’s library of books and tracts (see Library Collections below) and a portrait of Cecil by Richard Russell RA.
Most of the College’s materials relating to Henry Martyn are on permanent loan to the Henry Martyn Centre in Cambridge. A manuscript book of Martyn’s notes on the Greek New Testament is held at Ridley Hall.
Library Special Collections
The Ridley Hall library possesses a collection of early books, dating from the Reformation to the 18th century. The College also owns the library of books and tracts of the Revd Richard Cecil, along with a number of manuscript notebooks (see Cecil collection above).
Ridley Hall owns a small collection of medieval manuscripts (held at Cambridge University Library). Click on a thumbnail below to view the photo gallery.
Access to the collections is restricted by staffing timetables. Readers wishing to use the Archives should make contact in advance with either the Theological Federation librarian or the Ridley Archives manager, giving details of their research subject and listing the collections they would like to consult. New readers should also provide two forms of identification, one with a photograph, and one showing their address (such as a passport, driving licence or amenity bill).
Our reading room policy
- No eating or drinking is permitted in the reading room. Smoking is not permitted within Ridley Hall buildings or grounds.
- The number of items issued to a researcher at any one time may be restricted and is at the discretion of the staff.
- Researchers should take care when handling the documents, books and objects and follow the directions of the staff. They should keep items in the order in which they were issued and any damage or accident should be reported at once.
- Documents, books and objects must not be removed from the reading room.
- All note-taking must be done in pencil, never in pen or ballpoint. Tracing from documents is not allowed.
- Laptop computers may be used
- Hand-held photocopiers and scanners are not allowed. Digital cameras may be used by prior arrangement only. No flash photography is allowed.
- Photocopying, when permitted, may only be carried out by College staff. The onus is on the researcher to comply with copyright legislation. Any researcher issued with photocopies for non-commercial private purposes will be asked to sign a form reminding them of the relevant legislation.
- Permission must be obtained from the copyright holder to publish, otherwise distribute or quote from any items in copyright. When quoting from any document the source must always be acknowledged and the reference cited. Researchers are asked to supply the archive with a copy of any publication resulting from work on the collections.
Special Collections and Institutional Archives
Visits to view archival material at Ridley must be booked in advance. More information at accessing the collections.
Ridley Hall Historical Tour Guide
You can find out more about the history of our buildings and artworks in the Ridley Hall Historical Tour Guide, downloadable below.
The archives and library collections are supported through the College’s Annual Fund. To donate to the fund, or find out more, visit our Supporting Ridley page.
The Ridley Chapel Buwalasi
In 1926 the new Diocese of the Upper Nile was created. It was clear that more school teachers and clergy were needed, and it was decided that a new Diocesan Training College should be built.
In this article, made available here for download by kind permission of CPAS, Ridley's tutor in Pioneer Ministry David Male urges the church to keep evangelism central, and suggests five important steps our churches and its leaders can take.
Sermon preached by Michael Volland on 19th November 2015 on 1 Peter 2:1-9.