School Archive

The School Archive is housed in a purpose-built area of our wonderful Jean Duffield Library and holds an impressive collection of photographs, letters, books, programmes, items of uniform, scientific instruments and many other school artefacts and memorabilia.

These items provide us with a comprehensive record of the rich history of St Helen’s from its origins as a school for 11 pupils aged 4 to 17 in 1903, through the merger with St Katharine’s School in Wantage in 1938 and up to the present day.

Many items are on display, including the teddy bear, Little Bear, who has the distinction of being the only non-human prefect – a title bestowed upon him when his owner, Clare Howes, was elected Head Girl!

Alumnae are very welcome to visit the archive during most alumnae events or you can arrange a private viewing by contacting the Alumnae Office via

Digital archive

The Digital Archive provides online access to many of the fascinating items in our collection, including copies of all school magazines from the first St Katharine’s School Magazine in 1894, the first St Helen’s School Magazine in 1908, and the first magazine of the merged school of St Helen and St Katharine from 1939.

The entire collection of whole-school photographs can also be viewed – you can even zoom in to identify individual faces! The Digital Archive includes items of uniform, event programmes, audio clips and much more and is fully searchable which enables the user to enter search terms and view specific pages of publications.

Alumnae are automatically granted access to the Digital Archive when they register with the SHSK Society. Should you wish to view the digital collection but are not a member of the SHSK Society please email

SHSK Digital Archives

Archive contributions

In order to enrich our collection we are always grateful for donations of relevant material. We want the archives to tell your story, so if you have any items from your or your family’s time at St Helen and St Katharine, please do get in touch via email .