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South London Polytechnic Institutes

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB2110 SLPI
Held at: London South Bank University
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Full title: South London Polytechnic Institutes
Date(s): 1882-1910
Level of description: Fonds level
Extent: 3 boxes
Name of creator(s): South London Polytechnic Institutes
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

South London Polytechnic Institutes was established following the City of London Parochial Charities Act, 1883. In the Act the Government's Charity Commissioners were to distribute money to schemes which would improve the physical, social and moral condition of Londoners. Edric Bayley, a solicitor and member of the London School Board, wanted to use the money to establish a people's college in Elephant and Castle, which could help alleviate the extreme poverty he saw in that area as well as help strengthen British industry.

In 1887 Bayley established the South London Polytechnic Institutes Council, whose members included the Lord Mayor of London and the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) as its President. In January 1888 the Council appealed to the Charity Commissioners for the money they needed. The Commissioners were impressed and pledged that they would match any funds raised by the public up to the sum of 150,000 in order to establish three technical colleges, or polytechnics, in South London.

A Committee of the Council had the task of raising the money needed from the public and also of deciding where the three polytechnics should be located. The Committee decided that one should be established at Elephant and Castle (now LSBU), another at New Cross (which is now Goldsmiths College) and lastly at Battersea (which eventually moved and became part of the University of Surrey). The public appeal for the money needed was launched at a widely publicised dinner held at Mansion House in June 1888. Within four years 78,000 had been raised through the public's generosity for the Elephant and Castle and Battersea Polytechnics, which was matched by the Charity Commissioners.


Scope and content/abstract:

Contains the records of South London Polytechnic Institutes, 16 March 1882-28 October 1910, comprising:

SLPI/1 Committee minutes, 1887-1888;

SLPI/2 Correspondence, Appeals and Reports, 1887-1894;

SLPI/3 Finance: includes balance sheets and information regarding subscribers, 1888-1891;

SLPI/4 Letters to newspapers: regarding the work of South London Polytechnic Institutes and appeals for funds, 1882-1910.

SPLI/5 South London Polytechnic Institutes (Borough Road Site) Act 1890.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collection is catalogued.

Conditions governing access:

The collection is available to the public. If you have any enquiries please contact the University Archives Officer.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Reproduction is at the discretion of University Archives Centre staff.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired on the establishment of the Borough Polytechnic Institute.

Allied Materials

Related material:

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:
May 2010

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