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Records of the Zodiac Club and related material, 1725 - 1909

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/SOC.45

Scope and Contents

From the Management Group:

The category - Student administration and support records - comprises records relating to student admissions at all levels, graduate students, visiting senior scholars, student careers advice and welfare, together with the records of clubs and societies.


  • 1725 - 1909


Conditions Governing Access

The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Department of Archives and Modern Manuscripts, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (

Biographical / Historical

The club was probably founded in 1725, its first set of articles being set down on 10 December of that year. The exact nature of its activities is unknown as the main club volume is mostly administrative in nature and one of the club's articles bound it members to secrecy. The articles do indicate that the club was at least partly social in nature meeting in a tavern and holding its own stock of wine. They also show that members were required to assist each other in seeking 'preferments' above all other candidates and the club ran its own library to which members were expected to contribute. Membership was limited to twelve elected individuals who each took the name of a sign of the zodiac. From 1728 six further members were elected, taking the names of the six known planets. The first members were bachelors of the university, but later members included masters and a few fellows. Officers of the club were drawn from the membership on a termly rotation.


3 item(s) : paper

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference

Ms.Add.5340, C.12.9 (Sel)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These items were transferred to the University Archives from the Manuscripts Department on 3 October 2007. SOC.45.1 had been in the possession of H.M. Gilbert, bookseller of Southampton in 1896 and was purchased and presented, along with SOC.45.3, by Robert Bowes to the Manuscripts Department on 24 April 1912. It was given the classmark Ms.Add.5340. Item SOC.45.2 was transferred into MS.Add.5340 on November 1913. It had been found in an item at classmark C.12.9 (Sel).


The online catalogue entry was completed in October 2007 and emended in November 2007.

Date information

DateText: club originated material dates from 1725-42.


Zodiac Club

Finding aid date

2007-10-02 16:59:58+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.