Jordan College is a University of Oxford college in Lyra's world. Lyra is raised there and her father is a member of the college. It is "the grandest and richest of the all colleges in Oxford." It was founded in the Middle Ages, when the oldest of its buildings were first constructed. Its youngest buildings were constructed in the 18th century.
Jordan College locations
Lyra and Roger play "Kids and Gobblers" in the Jordan attics.
A vast, cavernous region below Jordan College, part crypt where old masters and scholars are buried, and part wine cellars. Lyra spent countless hours exploring and playing there, including the occasion where she and Roger got drunk on the college's wine.
The Jordan College wine collection includes:
Lyra and Roger often explore the college's Crypt. It is located beneath the Oratory. They contain the remains of generations of old Masters of Jordan College. On the coffin of each there was an inscription with their name, their daemons name, the time they were Master and a short bit of Roman. It also has a small plaque with an image of the Masters daemon. The Catacombs hold skulls, inside of which is a Daemon-coins with an image of their daemon on. Lyra switched them round as a joke and was visited by Night-ghasts, prompting her to restore them all to their appropriate positions.
Jordan College scholars set for dinner in an ancient dining hall. It is a traditional academic dining hall where regular scholars sit at long tables while the Master and his guests sit at the high table on a dais at the far end of the hall. It is through the dining hall that Lyra enters the Retiring Room at the beginning of the story.
The lecture theatre is a room where photograms and visual presentations are shown. It is suggested to Lord Asriel present his photograms from the North there, but he decides against it, and has the appropriate equipment brought to the Retiring Room.
There are gardens outside the college library. They appear to be adjacent to the Master's lodgings.
The Master has his own house on Jordan College campus. It is here that he gives the alethiometer to Lyra.
Melrose Quadrangle is just one of Jordan's quads. The college library is located here.
It is presumed that the Palmer's tower is part of the college.
The Pilgrim's tower is a tower in the college that Lyra would like to use to jump from roof to roof, but a skylight and her small size keep her from it.
Could it be the same as the Palmer's tower?
The Retiring Room
The retiring room is a private lounge behind the dining hall in Jorden College, where the Master and his guests (often elite scholars) retire after a meal. It appears to be a senior common room. It is lit by Naphtha lamps and kept warm by a large open fireplace. Ancient tradition forbids Women from entering the retiring room - not even maidservants; it is the Butler's job alone to clean it. Readers first encounter Lyra, sneaking into the retiring room with Pan.
Lyra lives in a room at the top of Staircase Twelve in Yaxley Quad, the oldest of the college buildings. This was the location of Philip Pullman's residence during his time at Exeter College. 
The Concilium is a council that maintains the college's budget, approving purchases of land, investing funds, paying the Scholars' stipends (allowances), the wages of the servants, maintaining the wine cellars and the library, equipping the chapel, etcetera.
The Residency Clause stipulates that in order to present a request for research funds, a scholar must be resident at the College for thirty weeks of of the last fifty-two. The Master suggests to the Librarian that they may use it to refuse Lord Asriel the money he requests to fund his expedition to the North to investigate Dust.
Inspiration: Exeter College
As described by Philip Pullman in Oxford Today, Jordan corresponds to his own college at Oxford: "Jordan College occupies the same physical space in Lyra's Oxford (Lyra is the young heroine of my story) as Exeter College occupies in real life, though rather more of it. I didn't see why I shouldn't make my college the biggest of them all. Jordan, where Lyra grows up, has developed in a haphazard, piecemeal way, and for all its wealth, some part of it is always about to fall down, and is consequently covered in scaffolding; it has an air of jumbled and squalid grandeur."
Jordan College is based on Exeter College, but its riches can be compared to those of Oxford's real-life St. John's College, described in The Scholar's Guide to Oxford: "so wealthy, it is said that one can travel from Oxford to Cambridge without setting foot off land owned by St John's. Whether or not this is true, St John's does own most of North Oxford and other property throughout the country."
This is similar Pullman's description of Jordan College: "The College owned farms and estates all over England. It was said that you could walk from Oxford to Bristol in one direction and London in the other, and never leave Jordan land. In every part of the kingdom there were dye works and brick kilns, forests and atomcraft works that paid rent to Jordan ... Concilium had just approved the purchase of an office block in Manchester..."
People associated with Jordan College
The Master is the college's highest ranking scholar and oversees its operation. The current Master of Jordan College is only referred to as "Master" in the books. He is an elderly gentleman who has managed to maintain the college in spite of pressure from the Magisterium.
Former masters include:
- The Cassington Scholar
- The Chaplain
- The Dean
- The Enquirer
- The Intercessor, Father Heyst
- The Librarian, Charles
- The Palmerian Professor, Professor Trelawney
- The Precentor
- The Sub-Rector
- Wren, the Butler
- Cousins, the Master's manservant
- The Chef
- Mrs. Lonsdale, the Housekeeper
- The Parslow family
- Shuter, the Porter
- Mr. Cawson, the Steward
- Bernie Johansen, pastry cook