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Photographic Archive of the Architects and Building Branch, Ministry of Education and successors

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0366 ABB
Held at: Institute of Education
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Full title: Photographic Archive of the Architects and Building Branch, Ministry of Education and successors
Date(s): c 1940s-1980s
Level of description: collection
Extent: 90 boxes
Name of creator(s): Ministry of Education | Architects and Building Branch
Department of Education and Science | Architects and Building Branch
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Architects and Building Branch was formed in 1949 by the merger of the Architects Branch and the Buildings and Priority Branch of the then Ministry of Education, thus bringing together both administrative personnel and professional architects into one multi-disciplinary team. During its influential work overseeing central government policy relating to school architecture and specific building programmes, its staff accumulated large collections of photographs, slides and associated materials. On the initiative of one member of staff, David Medd, the collection was brought together at some stage in the 1990s. Whilst the photgraphic prints seem to have already formed a core collection for the use of all staff, the slide collection (DC/ABB/C) was assembled by David Medd from numerous individual sources in the Architects and Building Branch such as abandoned boxes, drawers and cupboards. The transparencies were not taken by professional photographers, but by architects and others when visiting sites to supplement investigation work or to record progress or building projects undertaken by the Branch and did not form a single collection, but were kept by these individuals as an adjunct to their work.


Scope and content/abstract:

Photographs, mainly covering the period 1940s-1980s, including black and white and colour prints, contact strips, negatives, glass plates, and slides. These document the exteriors and interiors of school and college buildings, both during construction and after completion, and include images of furniture and equipment, and of activities in schools; microfilms of plans and drawings; some related papers such as plans, schedules, notes and correspondence.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

David Medd has sorted the slides and photographs geographically according to Local Education Authority and within that by individual school. He used the Government's 'List 29' - 'List of Local Education Authorities (for recording purposes) on which to base his arrangement.

Conditions governing access:

Apply to Archivist.

Conditions governing reproduction:

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Librarian or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist.

Finding aids:


Archival Information

Archival history:

The photographic prints were removed from the DfEE offices by David Medd and then transferred by him to the National Primary Education Archive at Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln in 1996 (NPEA Accession No. 96/7). The slide collection was transferred directly from the DfEE to the Institute in 2000.

Immediate source of acquisition:

These photographic prints were collected from Bishop Grossteste Training College in June 1998 and the slide collection from the DfEE offices in February 2000. -AccNo DC/02/00

Allied Materials

Related material:

The personal papers of David Medd, architect with the Ministry, are also held by the Institute (DC/ME).

The Public Record Office holds the records of the Architects and Building Branch of the Ministry of Education and successors (ED 150, ED 203).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
Created 09/2/1999, modified 12/4/2000

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