The Harrovian Digital Archive

The Harrovian is the School's weekly newspaper, produced by the boys. It includes news, sports results, features and comment articles and dates back to 1828. The Harrovian newspaper, likes its previous incarnations under different names, is an invaluable resource for historians, capturing not only details of School life, but also the concerns of the wider world which are reflected in the articles written by boys and staff, providing a fascinating insight into social history.

Discovering the past

This website provides access to back issues of The Harrovian newspaper, in all its incarnations, covering nearly 200 years. Every issue has been digitally scanned and stored, and the text has been categorised and put into a searchable database. Using the search facility, visitors can search by year, by keyword, by a name or even by category (sport, music etc.) and the database will provide the issues of the newspaper which include the search terms.

If you would like to access this digital archive of The Harrovian or information on the Harrow School Archive please contact the School Archivist, Bethany Duck at

If you are an Old Harrovian or member of the Harrow Association and would like access or to confirm your unique username and password, please contact Harrow Association Data Management Officer James McLeod at

Rooted in a deep heritage

The Harrow School Archive was set up in 1981, approximately 409 years after the School's foundation. As can be appreciated a large quantity of records had gone missing or been destroyed in the meantime. The Archive deals with a steady flow of enquiries concerning people such as Old Harrovians, Masters, Head Masters and support staff. Subject-based enquiries are extremely diverse, ranging from sport, such as cricket, rugby, football, squash and rackets, to influenza epidemics. Nevertheless the Archive is well endowed with various series, such as the Harrow School newspaper, known as The Harrovian, which is a unique source for exploring the history of the School since the early 19th century, as well as tracing ancestors and famous Harrovians.

Very few issues of the paper were indexed and with such a long run it is extremely cumbersome to search. It was considered an ideal collection to digitise in order to make use of the search facilities offered by modern technology. Over 3000 individual issues have been scanned dating from 1828 right up to 2021. There are more than 57,000 individual articles in the database.

The content has changed from being purely of classical interest, to newsworthy articles and letters recording national and international events, scientific discoveries, School events and keeping a watching brief on Old Harrovians. Sometimes a few people drop under the radar and cannot be found, but in general there is a wealth of information contained therein. Explore and see what you can find.

For those who are descended from or related to Harrovians, who wish to find out more about their relatives, this resource may provide some insight into their lives and characters - as long as they were mentioned in the School newspaper.

Evolution through the years

Over the years it has changed both its title and its content. The first known single edition was produced in 1828 and bears little resemblance to the newsy content of the 21st century. There seems to be a gap until 1857 when a new title was thought up in The Portico, but this only lasted until 1859 when a change of editors heralded a new title in The Triumvirate. Then in 1863 another rethink brought The Tyro. The Harrovian title was then briefly restored from 1869 until 1881. Another short blip occurred between 1883 and 1887 when it was called Harrow Notes. Eventually it reverted again to The Harrovian in 1888 and thus it has remained ever since. The change of name often brought with it a gap in publication, which was possibly due to a hand-over of boy editors perhaps when they left the School.