Ridley Hall Archives

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Special collections and archives

Ridley Hall holds a number of special collections in addition to our institutional archives. Expand a collection below to find out more.

Institutional archives

Institutional archives

The Ridley Hall archives cover a span of over 100 years, from the College’s foundation in the 1880s up to the present. The institutional archives are largely uncatalogued, although finding aids do exist, and work is ongoing.

Nicholas Ridley

Nicholas Ridley Special Collection

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 and memorabilia.

First page of Nicholas Ridley's letter to Bishop Hopper: 1550
Charles Simeon

Charles Simeon Special Collection

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.

Ridley 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

John Newton Special Collection

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

Richard Cecil Special Collection

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 and a portrait of Cecil by Richard Russell RA.

Henry Martyn

Henry Martyn Special Collection

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.

Medieval collection

Medieval Collection

In addition to a collection of early books, dating from the Reformation to the 18th century (including the collections above), the Ridley Hall library also owns a small collection of medieval manuscripts held at Cambridge University Library. Scroll down for a photo gallery of images from this collection.

Access to our collections

Access to the collections is restricted by staffing timetables. Readers wishing to use the Archives should make contact in advance with either the Cambridge Theological Federation librarian or the Ridley Archives manager, the Revd Dr Catherine Wright, giving details of their research subject and listing the collections they would like to consult.

New readers will be required to 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

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.
Gallery: Manuscripts in Ridley's Medieval Collection