Founded in 1480, Magdalen College School (MCS) played an important part in the history of education. MCS became independent from Magdalen College, Oxford, in the 1980s.


The MCS Archive exists to collect and preserve records produced by the school, or relating to the school and its community.


The school’s heritage collections include:

  • School copies of core administrative records from the 1960s
  • Student admission registers, form lists and school diaries
  • Photographs from 1860 – formal and candid
  • Programmes from school events, school and student publications
  • Ephemera: letters, reminiscences, oral histories
  • Old Waynfletes’ (alumni) personal papers and effects
  • Antiquarian books
  • Objects: sporting trophies, uniform, school equipment
  • Works of art

Explore our online archive catalogue. All our featured collections can be browsed by category.

MCS Archives online catalogue


Archive Service Accreditation

In March 2020, MCS became the first school archive in the United Kingdom to achieve the coveted kitemark of Archive Service Accreditation.



This is a national scheme, run by The National Archives, which recognises of the quality of the provision across all areas: collections care, cataloguing, access, engagement with stakeholders and governance.

The school’s earlier history remains entwined with that of its predecessor institution, Magdalen College, so you may need to direct your enquiry to both school and college.

MCS and Magdalen College Archive



Normally the MCS Archive is available for access to stakeholders and the public by appointment with the Archivist on Mondays and Tuesdays during term-time, however the Archive team are currently working from home. The Archivist will undertake short pieces of research in the collections for those not able to access the Archive in person. Copies of records will be provided upon request.

For information please contact:


The Pandemic Papers

On 19 March 2020, the school closed during the Covid-19 global pandemic. To document this historic event, the MCS Archive set about curating a new collection which we are calling the Pandemic Papers. It will capture aspects of school life and the MCS community in this time through letters, journal entries, short videos, photographs and objects of interest, all submitted by pupils, staff, parents, OWs and Friends of MCS.

More about the project


MCS Archive Mission Statement

MCS Archive Access Policy