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West Ham College of Technology

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2381 WHM
Held at: University of East London
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Full title: West Ham College of Technology
Date(s): 1898-1970
Level of description: Fonds (Collection)
Extent: 49 boxes and 19 volumes
Name of creator(s):
West Ham College of Technology
West Ham Municipal College
Municipal Technical Institute
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Municipal Technical Institute was built by the Council of the Borough of West Ham and opened in October 1898 along with the West Ham Central Library - the Passmore Edwards Museum which formed part of the same block of buildings designed by J G S Gibson and S B Russell opened two years later.

Initially the College offered only senior evening and day classes for both sexes, priority given to those who lived or were employed in the Borough of West Ham. Classes were intended to give a thorough all round training for industrial life, and for those taking day classes it was promised they would learn more in two to three years than they would taking a normal seven year apprenticeship. Technology, Pure and Applied Science, Art, Commerce and Domestic Economy courses were offered to evening students, whilst day classes consisted of Art, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics and Domestic Economy. In 1902 the Institute became associated with the University of London and soon became an Institution with Recognised Teachers of the University offering degree courses as well as course leading to other qualifications.

In 1912-1913, Junior Technical Schools in Engineering and Trade Dressmaking were established. A Junior Commercial School followed in 1932, with a Junior Building School added in 1942.

In 1922 it became known as the West Ham Municipal College and in 1952 it underwent a further name change to West Ham College of Technology. After it was designated a Regional College of Technology in 1962, the institute was divided and a new College, the West Ham College of Further Education, took over the lower level work. The advanced work was retained by the West Ham College of Technology and by 1970, when it joined with two other institutions to form the North East London Polytechnic, all of its work was of degree standard.

The buildings now form part of the University of East London's Stratford Campus.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the West Ham College of Technology and its predecessors, 1898-1970, comprising:

Minutes of the Board of Governors, 1959-1965; Minutes of the Board of Studies, 1924-1960; Minutes of the Academic Board, 1964-1969; minutes and report of the University Board, 1933-1958; Board of Education circulars, 1911-1919;

Correspondence and general administration, 1911-1970, notably the establishment of the new Polytechnic, 1968-1970;Annual Report, 1966-1967;

Day student lists (incomplete),1914-1961; Sessional reports for evening and part-time courses (incomplete), 1905-1957; Fee Registers, 1949-1955; Exam results (incomplete), [1914]-1957;

Exam papers, 1951-1956; Prospectuses and Course Handbooks (incomplete), 1899-1970;

Records of the Engineering Department, 1904-1962; Financial records (incomplete), 1948-1970; Records of the Students' Union and its Clubs (incomplete), 1930-1970; Staff and student publications, 1963-1970; Student Laboratory Reports, 1955-1964;

Minutes of the Technical Instruction Committee of the County Borough of West Ham, 1898-1918; Minutes of Council and Reports of Committees of the County Borough of West Ham, 1946-1964; Minutes of Education Committee of the County Borough of West Ham, 1954-1963.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Due to the origins of the material and its various moves over the years, there was no discernible order. The series have been collated together under the main sections as listed above.

Conditions governing access:

Access is by appointment, however some material, such as Student Records, is covered by the Data Protection Act and will be restricted. Please contact the Archives Department, University of East London, for information. See: www.uel/lls/archives

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to copyright and the condition of the original, may be supplied. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the archivist.

Finding aids:

Detailed listing on Archives Hub.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Before its move to the Docklands Campus, the uncatalogued and unsorted institutional archive was housed in UEL's Barking Campus and an external store. When the Barking Campus closed in 2006, the material which was held onsite was transferred, however the external store material was not and as a consequence is lost. The extant material is therefore of a very patchy nature and much of it is in poor condition.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred from the library at UEL's Barking Campus, 2006.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The University of East London also holds some records relating to: South East Essex Technical College, later Barking Regional College of Technology, 1938-1970; South West Essex Technical College, later Waltham Forest Technical College, 1938-1969. These institutes/colleges, along with West Ham College of Technology, merged to form the North East London Polytechnic in 1970 which would later become the University of East London.

Publication note:

The collection, including the material now lost, was used to compile the UEL institutional histories: Degrees East: the making of the University of East London 1892-1992 by Michael Locke, John Pratt, Nick Richards and Tyrell Burgess, (Athlone Press, Jun 1995); History of West Ham College of Technology by Charles Barret (Nelpress, 1976).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: West Ham College of Technology Annual Report 1966-1967; History of West Ham College of Technology by Charles Barren (Nelpress, 1976). Description by Caroline Lam.

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 2012

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