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  • Writer's pictureMary Allen

Winter scenes at Heythrop College

After the recent fall in temperatures, we thought we would revisit one of our favourite collections: the Heythrop College negatives. The images, taken in the 1960s by the official Heythrop photographer – one of the trainee Jesuits – contain some fantastic wintery scenes, including the young Jesuits taking part in snowy and cold weather activities.

Here is a selection:

At this time, Heythrop College in Oxfordshire was the home of Jesuit Philosophers and Theolgians. Jesuits undertook three years of philosophy after the two-year Noviceship, which was followed by two to three years of apostolic work, before they returned to Heythrop for four years of Theology, during which those becoming priests were ordained. The collection also contains many images of ordinations, as well as of the college itself and events held there.

In 2020 we had the entire collection digitised and then had the negatives sent offsite for storage. It may come as a surprise that photographic material, including negatives, is best preserved by freezing. The digital copies ensure that the material can still be accessed in the form of a surrogate.

Unfortunately this collection – which offers a fantastic snapshot of Jesuit life at Heythrop College – is currently underused because it is yet to be catalogued. Luckily, there is a paper index, and a project for the not so distant future (we hope) will be to catalogue the images using the index so that they are more easily accessible. But in the meantime, we hope you have enjoyed this small selection.

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