The University of Cambridge is rich in history – its famous Colleges and University buildings attract visitors from all over the world. But the University’s museums and collections also hold many treasures which give an exciting insight into some of the scholarly activities, both past and present, of the University’s academics and students.
The University of Cambridge is one of the world’s oldest universities and leading academic centers, and a self-governed community of scholars. Its reputation for outstanding academic achievement is known world-wide and reflects the intellectual achievement of its students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by the staff of the University and the Colleges.
St Catharine’s College was founded in 1473 by Robert Woodlark. He had spent nearly twenty years buying up tenements in what is now Queens’ Lane until he had a site large enough to accommodate the little hall which he called ‘Saynt Kateryns Hall of Cambridge’. Two years later, on 16 August 1475, the hall was incorporated, by charter of King Edward IV, as a college for a Master and three or more Fellows: “a perpetual college … for ever to remain”.
Undergraduates were not admitted to St Catharine’s until the 16th century, and at the beginning of the 17th century, it was still one of the smallest Colleges in Cambridge. However, a series of outstanding Masters and generous benefactors were to change its fortunes.