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Living History

Stonyhurst pupils enjoy access to a uniquely significant and rich resource in its historic libraries, archives and collections. Some 50,000 books and manuscripts dating from the 10th century onwards, and a breathtaking range of artefacts rival the collections of many universities.  We employ a Curator, Jan Graffius and an Archivist, David Knight whose skills and knowledge make the objects in their care accessible and inspirational.

English and Drama pupils are privileged to have access to Shakespeare’s First Folio and manuscript poetry by Gerard Manley Hopkins; artists can work with pieces by Durer, Rembrandt and Turner; history pupils be inspired by the Gunpowder Plot vestments; and theologians by a Thorn from the Crown of Thorns, once the property of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The Archives provide a fascinating record of our school from its foundation on the continent in 1593, through its arrival at Stonyhurst in 1794, to the present day.

The Stonyhurst collections are, in fact, the oldest museum in the English speaking world; since 1609 thousands of ancient, precious and sacred objects have been entrusted to the Jesuits and the College, reflecting its unique role as a sanctuary for world culture spanning millennia.