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University of London Convocation

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 UoL/CN
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: University of London Convocation
Date(s): 1858-2003
Level of description: Subfonds of the University of London
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Extent: 228 folders, 4 o/s folders, 10 envelopes, 36 volumes, 7 reports and 1 roll
Name of creator(s): University of London | Convocation
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Charter of 1858 admitted graduates as part of the corporate body of the University of London and gave them the right to assemble in convocation. Along with the Senate and Court, Convocation is one of three statutory bodies of the University of London and it is open to graduates of the University of London on payment of an annual fee. A Chairman, Vice-Chairman and a secretary, who is responsible for looking after the administrative affairs, serves it.

The 1858 Charter defined the powers of Convocation as being: 'the power to nominate three persons for every Fellow to be appointed in the manner herinbefore mentioned from a list nominated by the Convocation'. Convocation had the power to: 'discuss any matter whatsoever relating to the University, and declaring the opinion of Convocation in any such matter; of accepting any new Charter for the University, or consenting to the surrender of Charters; of deciding on the mode of conducting and registering the proceedings of Convocation; of appointing and removing the Clerk of Convocation and of prescribing his duties'. However Convocation was not entitled to interfere in or take control over the affairs of the University.

Convocation was given two additional powers under the Charter of 1863. These were the powers of accepting and surrendering any 'supplemental' as well as any new Charter; and that of deciding as to the recognition, upon such terms as the Senate shall propose, of any Degree to be conferred under the Charter, other than Degrees in Arts, Laws, Medicine and Science, as qualifications for admission to Convocation.'

Between 1886 and 1889 Convocation took over the committee for promoting the celebration of the Jubilee of the University in 1886 and that of Queen Victoria in 1887 from the Freemasons and other bodies associated with the University. To commemorate the Jubilee a statue of Queen Victoria was commissioned and erected at Burlington Gardens, then home of the University of London.

The University of London Act 1898 made the Chairman of Convocation an ex officio member of the Senate and gave Convocation the power to appoint sixteen members to the Senate. The power of consent over the surrender of an existing Charter or acceptance of a new Charter disappeared in the 1898 Act. However Convocation was given the right to be informed of and to appeal against any proposed new Statutes.

The Statutes of 1900 gave members of Convocation the power to elect the Chancellor of the University. During the nineteenth century the Crown appointed the Chancellors. The first Chancellor to be elected by Convocation was the Earl of Rosebery in 1900.


Scope and content/abstract:

The collection comprises bound proceedings, minutes and attendance books, reports and statements, standing orders and regulations, correspondence, financial accounts and other administrative papers of Convocation and its various committees; membership records and correspondence and reports from regional groups; election papers, Declarations of Elections and Deeds of Appointment, including those for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother; speeches, addresses and lectures; programmes and supporting paperwork for social events and photographs of Chairmen of Convocation, other Convocation Officers and presentation ceremonies.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

1. Proceedings, Committee, Working Party and Review Group Meeting Papers. 2. Correspondence. 3. Membership and Regional Groups. 4. Elections and Appointments. 5. Administrative Papers. 6. Speeches, Awards and Events. 7. Photographs and Printed Material.

Conditions governing access:

Open, except for records restricted under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details. 24 hours notice is required for research visits.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Special Collections Reading Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Finding aids:

Fully catalogued online and a handlist is held in the Special Collections reading room. A pdf version of the handlist is attached to the sub-fonds description.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
1999-08-31 Simon McKeon, 2006-08-23 Michael Broadway, 2011-01 Jane Kirby

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