A guide to our Collections

Institutional Archives

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.

Nicholas Ridley

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.


Charles Simeon

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).

John Newton

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.

Richard Cecil

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.

Henry Martyn


Most of the College’s materials relating to Henry Martyn are on permanent loan to the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide 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.