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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/CC/BRC
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1978-2006
Level of description: subfonds
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Extent: 0.3 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Barbican Centre Committee was established by the Court of Common Council on 19 May 1978. Later in that year, its Executive Sub Committee was appointed, with particular powers delegated to it by the Court of Common Council, and responsibility for the management of the Barbican Centre. With effect from 7 February 1985, the then current Barbican Centre Committee (comprising 22 Members, appointed by various Committees and Common Council, with up to 6 outside Members) and the Barbican Centre Executive Sub Committee were discontinued, and a new Barbican Centre Committee was established, with a maximum limit of only 12 Members (appointed by Common Council and fewer Committees than originally, with only 2 outside Members) and a quorum of 5, which was considered would be more efficient and responsive to the Centre's needs. The Committee's financial powers were also altered at that time. The Committee was again reconstituted with effect from 24 January 1996, with the same number of Members, but more of them being appointed directly by Common Council, and the 2 non-Corporation Members being appointed by the Barbican Centre Committee itself.

The Committee's terms of reference were to set the general principles within which the Barbican Centre would operate, and to operate it (except for Barbican Library and, until 1998, Barbican Art Gallery) within those constraints. It was also to allocate premises between Centre users and co-ordinate the activities of its various occupants, to be responsible for both day-to-day and long-term maintenance of the Centre and to act as the controlling Committee in respect of the Arts Centre Administrator (later the Managing Director) and his or her staff. The Music Committee continued to have responsibility for the administration of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, subject to the overall allocation of premises by the Barbican Centre Committee.

Initially the Library Committee continued to have responsibility for the administration of Barbican Library and Barbican Art Gallery, subject only in the case of the latter to the overall allocation of premises by the Barbican Centre Committee. However, from 2 April 1998, responsibility for the Barbican Art Gallery was transferred from the Libraries, Guildhall Art Gallery and Archives Committee (successor to the Library Committee) to the Barbican Centre Committee. Responsibility for the Barbican Phase V (which included the Barbican Centre), were passed to the Barbican Centre Committee with effect from January 1984 from the abolished Barbican Development Committee.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Barbican Centre Committee, Court of Common Council, comprising minutes, 1978-2006.

The Committee's minute books from 1978 contain policy and executive decisions necessary for the administration of the Barbican Centre, whilst the files of the same dates contain the reports and correspondence material to those decisions. Because of the special nature of the Barbican Centre as an arts venue, outwith the more usual experience of Local Authories, it was always seen as different to other Corporation Committees, comprising Members with particular commercial experience and of high calibre, and with higher expenditure and a slightly different ethos. The Committee supervised the residency at the Barbican Centre of the Royal Shakespeare Company (1982-2002) and the London Symphony Orchestra, although both bodies had been involved in the planning stages of the construction of the Barbican Centre since the 1960s with the Barbican Development Committee (COL/CC/BRD) and the Barbican Arts Centre Joint Working Party (COL/CC/BRA).

From 1978 to 1984, the Committee's Executive Sub Committee tended increasingly to take all the executive decisions respecting the Centre, and the Grand Committee met only to ratify its decisions, which led to reform of the Committee of 1985.

In common with all Corporation of London Committees, the minute books contain records only of decisions taken, and not details of arguments or debates which led to those decisions.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For material relating to the Barbican, see COL/CC/BRA, BRC, BRD, BRR, BRV, BRW and CLA/072.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
February 2009

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