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University & College Records (Education) (including Scotland)

Nature of Source

Records generated from the running of universities with registers and calendars containing the most useful information on individuals. Up to the 19th century only two universities existed, namely Oxford (1249) and Cambridge (1284), who offered higher education mainly to the sons of the politically powerful and wealthy elite. Many more universities were established in 19th century offering a variety of subjects especially in the sciences and engineering which also for the first time admitted females as students.

The first of these new universities opened in Durham in 1832 with the University of London founded in 1836. In Scotland, St Andrews was established in 1411, Glasgow in 1451, Aberdeen in 1495 and Edinburgh in 1582. In Ireland, Dublin's university was founded in 1592.

Many university registers have been published and indexed.

Also see
School Records
Teacher Records

Where Found

University Archives
Society of Genealogists (Lists of school registers and where to locate them. For more details consult the SoG publication 'School, university and college registers and histories in the library of the Society of Genealogists', 2nd ed 1996)
The National Archives Library (Published registers)
Institute of Education Library & Archives (The archives holds extensive collections of current and historical materials on education and related areas of social science. The archives consist of collections deposited by people and educational organisations and of the Institute of Education itself. The library houses a collection of journals, books and documents on all aspects of education)
County Record Offices
Reference Libraries
National Library of Scotland

Period Covered

1167 - Onwards

Genealogical Value

Student's first and second name and date of entry and departure; Details of degree awarded; Student's age, parentage and occasionally details of later career or death; Parents’ occupation and address.

Further References

Chapman, Colin. The Growth of British Education and its Records: Lochin Publishing, 1992

Chapman, Colin. Basic Facts about Using Education Records: Federation of Family History Societies, 1999

Craigie, James. A Bibliography of Scottish Education before 1872: Scottish Council for Research in Education, 1970

Harwood, Elain. England's Schools: History, Architecture and Adaptation: English Heritage, 2010

Jacobs, Phyllis M. Registers of the Universities Colleges and Schools of Great Britain and Ireland: Institute of Historical Research, 1964

May, Trevor. The Victorian Public School: Shire Publications, 2009

May, Trevor. The Victorian Schoolroom: Shire Publications, 1994

Oates, Jonathan. Tracing Your London Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians
Pen & Sword Books, 2011

Ogilvie, Joseph. The Church of Scotland Training College in Aberdeen: Records of the Classes from 1895-96 to 1905-07: Albany Press, 1907

Oldham Hughes, Walter. The Register of Tonbridge School from 1820 to 1886: Beecroft, 1886 (available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)

Steed. H.E. The Register of Tonbridge School from 1826 to 1910: Rivingtons, 1911

Torrance, D. Richard. Scottish Trades, Professions, Vital Records and Directories: A Selected Biography: Scottish Association of Family History Societies, 1998 (The book contains a bibliography of works which contain lists of Scottish people trades people including students and teachers)

Webb, Cliff. An Index of London Schools and their Records: Society of Genealogists, 2007

Wilkes, Sue. Tracing Your Ancestors' Childhood: Pen and Sword Books, 2013

Woolf, Alex. Past in Pictures: A Photographic View of Schools: Wayland, 2014

TNA Research Guides:
Education History Records Held in The UK
Technical Colleges and Further Education

Published University Student Registers


Addison, W. Innes. A Roll of the Graduates of the University of Glasgow, 1727-1897: Glasgow, 1898 (Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)


Addison, W. Innes. The Matriculation Albums of the University of Glasgow from 1728 to 1858: J. Maclehose and sons, 1913(Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)


Anderson, James Maitland. The Matriculation Roll of the University of St. Andrews, 1747-1897: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1905 (Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)


Anderson, James Maitland. Early Records of the University of St Andrew: The Graduation Roll 1413-1579 and the Matriculation Roll 1473-1579: Edinburgh, 1926 (Available on CD from Archive CD Books)


Anderson, Peter John. Officers and Graduates of University and King's College, Aberdeen, 1495-1860: New Spalding Club, 1893 (Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)


Anderson, Peter John. Roll of Alumni in Arts of the University and King's College of Aberdeen, 1596-1860: University of Aberdeen, 1900 (Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)


Anderson, Peter John & Johnstone, James Fowler Kellas. Fasti Academiae Mariscallanae Aberdonensis: selections from the records of the Marischal College and University, 1593-1860, 3 vols: New Spalding Club, 1889-1898 (Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)


Donald, Louise & Macdonald, W. S. Roll of the Graduates of the University of Aberdeen 1956-1970 with Supplement 1860-1955: Aberdeen University Press, 1982


Dunlop, Annie I. Acta Facultatis Artium Universitatis Sanctandree, 1413-1588: Oliver and Boyd, 1964


Foster, Joseph. Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886: Parker and Co, 1888 (Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)


Foster, Joseph. Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford 1500-1714: James Parker and Co, 1891 (Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)


Innes, Cosmo. Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis: Records of the University of Glasgow: From its Foundation till 1727, 3 vols: Maitland Club, 1854 (Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)


Johnston, William. Roll of the Graduates of the University of Aberdeen, 1860-1900: University of Aberdeen, 1906 (Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)


Mackintosh, John. Roll of the Graduates of the University of Aberdeen 1926-1955 with Supplement 1860- 1925: University of Aberdeen, 1960


Smart, Robert N. Biographical Register of the University of St Andrews, 1747-1897: University of St Andrews Library, 2004


Venn, John & Venn, J. A. Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the Earliest Times to 1900: Cambridge University Press, 1922-1954 (Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)


Watt, Theodore. Roll of the Graduates of the University of Aberdeen 1901-1925; with supplement 1860-1900: Aberdeen University Press, 1935


Websites (Edinburgh University Archives: Guide 1-Student records) (Institute of Education Archives Subject Guide No. 12 Teacher Training) (Institute of Education Archives Subject Guide No. 9 Education in London, 1870-1990) (Institute of Education Archives Subject Guide No 8 Family History) (Building on History: the Church in London: Researching Schools)

Online Databases

Online Catalogues (Listing of online catalogues for the partial whereabouts of records including Access to Archives [A2A], National Register of Archives [NRA], Aim25, Archives Hub, Scottish Archive Network) (School Lists & Yearbooks including Oxford & Cambridge Alumni including Oxford University Brasenose College Register 1509-1909. Browsable images include University College School, London, Register 1831-1891) (Britain, School and University Register Books. The records consist of digitised copies of school and university register books. In addition to Scotland, county coverage includes: Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Cumberland, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Durham, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, London, Middlesex, Northumberland, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Somersetshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, Yorkshire) (School, College & University Registers. Resources include Cambridge and Oxford University registers; London School of Economics and Political Science Register 1895-1932; London University College School Register, 1860-1931; London, University College School Register, 1831-1891) (School & University Alumni Records) (School, College & University Registers. Coverage includes: Aberdeen University Roll of Graduates, Cambridge University, Glasgow University, The London School of Economics and Political Science Register, London University, Oxford University) (University of London Student Records, 1836-1931) (Cambridge Alumni Database: Biographical details of everyone who has been identified as being academically associated with the University of Cambridge, covering the period from 1200 onwards) (Heritage Builds Bridges: Catalogue of the holdings of London Borough of Hillingdon, the British and Foreign School Society & Brunel University) (University of Glasgow Alumni: Graduate searches including graduates to 1911 and WWI and WWII Rolls of Honour) (Edinburgh University Archives: Laureations and Degrees, 1587-1809 [Digitized version of the earliest surviving register of students graduating from the University]) (University of Glasgow: Glasgow Guardian Digital Archive: The archive contains searchable digital editions of the Gilmorehill Globe, Gilmorehill Guardian and Glasgow University Guardian. Together they represent the entirety of student newspaper journalism at the University of Glasgow. Please note that there were no editions of student newspapers produced prior to 1932, nor between 1936 and 1954 and the academic year 1957-1958) (Britain School & University Memorial Rolls 1914-1918. Search the names of individuals who fought in World War 1 from the University of Aberdeen, the University of London, Eton, Oxford, Manchester University, the University of Durham, the University of Edinburgh and St Andrews)

CD Roms

Archive CD Books (Alumni and university registers)
S & N Genealogy Supplies (University registers)