Skip to main content

Archive of Ducker & Son, shoemakers, Oxford


  • How to

The archive comprises ledgers and other account books of Ducker & Son, shoe makers of Oxford, covering over 100 years of trading. The volumes list orders made for a variety of bespoke shoes and related services. Some of the records detail the style of shoes (their design, colour, linings, edges, caps and heels) as well as material used for their production. Further volumes document the shop's own stock and advertising needs. The papers are complemented by samples of shoes, paper shoe patterns, leather brogue patterns and tools used in the shoe making and aftercare. Photographs of the shop's exterior and interior as it was towards the end of 2016 are also present. The catalogue is divided into four parts dictated by separate acquisitions.


  • Creation: 1910-2017


5.8 Linear metres (55 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Conditions Governing Access

Some material is closed.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Don. c. 233].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Don. c. 233-249, MSS. 15012/1-35, JL 956-958

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12376, 12402, 12470, 15012


Ledgers, other account books, samples of shoes, patterns and shoe tools, with photographs of the shop of Ducker & Son (est. 1898), shoemakers of Oxford, 1910-2017.

Biographical / Historical

Ducker & Son, shoemakers and sellers based in Turl Street, Oxford, was founded by Edward Ducker in 1898. On his death in 1947, his wife took over the business, but died two weeks later. In 1952 Ducker & Son became a limited company (registerd with Companies House with no. 00512039). The firm made bespoke shoes of high quality in various styles (sports, military, formal and casual shoes and slippers as well as socks and leggins). Ducker & Son also offered a variety of services from shoe cleaning to restoration and repair. Their clients included royalty, nobility, clergy, military, diplomats, scientists, academics and students. Among the clients were also J.R.R. Tolkien, Evelyn Waugh, and in later years Rowan Atkinson, Ian McEwan and The Rev'd Hugh W. Bearn. The shop closed in November 2016. The last directors were Bob and Isobel Avery.


The catalogue is presented in chronological order with some material overlapping.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

MSS. Don. c. 233-243: purchased from Mallams by the Friends of the Bodleian, February 2017. MSS. Don. c. 244-248 and JL 956-958: donated by Bob and Isobel Avery, March 2017. MSS. Don. c. 249: donated by Roger Gilboy, March 2017. MSS. 15012/1-35: purchased from Mallams, June 2017.

Related Materials

An archived copy of the Ducker & Son website is accessible in the Bodleian Libraries Web Archive.

Catalogue of the archive of Ducker & Son
Finding aid prepared by Margaret Czepiel
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom