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Brunel University Archives

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1975 Brunel
Held at: Brunel University
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Full title: Brunel University Archives
Date(s): 1950-2001
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 36 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Brunel College of Advanced Technology
Brunel University
West London Institute of Higher Education
Acton Technical College
Shoreditch College of Education
Maria Grey College


Administrative/Biographical history:

Brunel University developed from Acton Technical College which was built by Middlesex County Council in 1928 to provide evening classes in engineering and to accommodate the Junior Technical School, founded in 1910, transferred from Chiswick Polytechnic. In the 1950s Acton College was an early developer of Dip. Tech. Courses and began building a new science block. These two factors led to the establishment of Brunel College of Technology as a separate institution in 1957. The name was taken for Isambard Kingdom Brunel who had local connections and whose Great Western Railway ran through Acton. The availability of a large site in nearby Uxbridge, already owned by Middlesex County Council, was instrumental in the designation of Brunel as a College of Advanced Technology (CAT) in 1962, with the Department of Education and Science stipulating that the new College should be there. Building began in 1965 but the move was not finally completed until 1971 although even then some buildings had not been completed. In 1966 Brunel received its charter to become Brunel University. Acton College continued to function separately and eventually merged with Ealing Tertiary College. In 1980 Shoreditch College of Education, formerly Shoreditch Training College (part of Shoreditch Technical Institute 1907-1930), became part of the University. In 1995 the West London Institute of Higher Education was incorporated into the University. The Institute, with campuses at Twickenham and Osterley, was itself an amalgamation, in 1976, of Borough Road College, Maria Grey College and Chiswick Polytechnic.

The University Court is responsible for the overall management and administration of the University. The Court receives the annual audited accounts of the previous year and a report from the Vice Chancellor. The Academic Advisory Committee advises on the standard of education and higher degrees, and the Senate is responsible for the overall academic work of the University.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Brunel College of Advanced Technology (CAT) and Brunel University, Uxbridge Campus, 1957-2001, and Acton Technical College, 1950-1987, including minutes of Brunel College Governing Body, 1957-1966; Planning Group minutes, 1962-1964; papers of the Finance Committee, 1967-1971; Board of Studies papers, 1960-1961; Administrative Committee minutes, 1962-1966; Architects Planning Group minutes, plans and correspondence, c1962-1965; papers relating to meetings of Principals of CATs and the Ministry of Education, c1961-1964; Academic Advisory Committee minutes, 1964-1966; papers of the Academic Board, 1966-1968; papers relating to the University Charter and conditions of service, 1964-1965; Brunel University Council minutes, 1966-2000; Council papers, 1969-1971; papers of the University Court, 1967-1971; Vice Chancellor's annual report to Court, 1992-1993; papers of the National Council of Technological Heads, particularly relating to the visits to Brunel in 1957 and 1962 and report, 1963-1964 on industrial training and engineering; papers of the Research Grants Committee and Salary Committee, 1967-1971; papers of the General Purposes Committee and Building Services Committee, c1966-1969; Hillingdon Hospital, proposal for medical school, 1966; papers of the Honorary Degrees Committee, c1970-1974; papers of the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) in regard to Brunel, 1965; papers of meetings been Principal (and later the Vice Chancellor) and heads of Departments, 1957-1959, 1969-1971; prospectuses and various related publications, 1957-2001.

Acton Technical College, Governors' meetings minutes, 1955-1956, and correspondence, 1957.

Prospectuses of Acton Technical College, 1950-1987; magazines including Brunel Newsletter, 1958-1968, Brunel Reporter, 1969-1995, BULB, 1980s-1991; scrapbooks of press cuttings relating to Brunel College and Brunel University, 1961-1977; 10 volumes of photographs of the Uxbridge campus, 1960s.

The 'Brunel Collection', 23 volumes containing reproductions of photographs, illustrations and prints relating to the work of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, in particular his ships the Great Western, the Great Britain and the Great Eastern.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In series as indicated in Scope and Content above.

Conditions governing access:

On application to the University Records Manager. Most administrative papers may be subject to a thirty-year closure period.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the discretion of the University Records Manager.

Finding aids:

Index cards and lists available from the University Records Manager, Brunel University Archives.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Generated and retained by Brunel University

Immediate source of acquisition:

There have been periodic transfers from the Principal's office of Brunel College, and the offices of the Vice Chancellor, Academic Registrar and Secretary General of Brunel University.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Registry of Brunel University holds student records; the Personnel Department holds records relating to staff.

The Public Record Office holds Bill Files, Brunel University Act, 1966-1967 (Ref: ED 31/910 Education); files on Colleges of Advanced Technology and new universities, 1960s in Department of Education and Science: Universities Branch and successors, Finance and Policy Teams: Registered Files (H Series) (Ref: ED 188); Brunel University Charter, 1966 (Ref:LCO 6/2588); papers in regard to Brunel University, Proposed New Universities, 1963-1966, 1963-1966 (Ref: UGC 7/185 Academic Advisory Committee).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Janet Foster and Robert Baxter as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: P Venables Higher Education Developments: The Technological Universities, 1956-1976 (London, 1978) pp323-5; J. Topping The Beginnings of Brunel University: From Technical College to University (OUP, 1981); A brief history of Brunel University (Brunel University website

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:
August 2000; updated October 2000; updated July 2001.

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