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Northern Polytechnic (Institute)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1924 NP
Held at: Trades Union Congress (TUC) Library Collections at London Metropolitan University
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Full title: Northern Polytechnic (Institute)
Date(s): 1899-1971
Level of description: Sub-Fond of London Metropolitan University
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Extent: c. 5 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Northern Polytechnic Institution
Northern Polytechnic


Administrative/Biographical history:

The origins of the Northern Polytechnic lie in the Charity Commissioners' scheme of the 1880s to develop a network of polytechnics modelled on the Regent Street Polytechnic (now part of the University of Westminster). The Northern Polytechnic Institution in Holloway, North London opened on 5 October 1896. Its mission was 'to promote the industrial skill, general knowledge, health and well-being of young men and women....(and)... the means of acquiring a sound General, Scientific, Technical and Commercial Education at small cost.' In the first year, a thousand students enrolled on courses ranging from English, mathematics and chemistry to machine construction, plumbing, dressmaking and millinery, mostly in evening classes. By 1900 the number of students had doubled, and by 1911 five-year evening degrees were available, recognised by the University of London. It changed its name to the Northern Polytechic c1931.
The Northern Polytechnic introduced polymer science courses at the turn of the 20th Century and developed an expertise in rubber technology. In 1948 the Northern Polytechnic was appointed as the National College of Rubber Technology, where it enjoyed a strong reputation for teaching and research. In 1982 the College merged with the Polytechnic of the South Bank's Polymer School to form the PNL (later UNL) School of Polymer Technology.
On 26 January1971, as more polytechnics were designated, it was decided that the Northern and North Western polytechnics should merge to form the Polytechnic of North London (PNL), which then had its degrees awarded by the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA). The PNL became the University of North London (UNL) in 1992, and in 2001 the UNL annonced that it would be merging with London Guildhall University to form London Metropolitan University.


Scope and content/abstract:

Administrative records of the Northern Polytechnic (NP) (formerly the Northern Polytechnic Institution), 1896-1971, including:
Governing Body minutes 1911-1971; agendas 1907-1971; Governor's correspondence, 1907-1938; General Purposes Committee minutes 1906-1935; Finance Committee minutes and agendas, 1906-1912, 1922-1970; records of HMI Inspections, 1899-1950; Principal's correspondence on extension of site and buildings, 1919-1937; Heads of Department meetings minutes 1931-1965; minutes of meetings of Principals of Polytechnic Instututions in London, 1902-1927; Joint Working Party with Northern Polytechnic [on merger] minutes 1967-1970;
Printed papers including Annual Reports 1942-1961, general prospectuses 1924-1929, 1965-1972; Architectural and Building Trades Department prospects 1906; Engineering Department prospectuses, 1909-1910; Commercial Day School prospectus, 1910; Chemistry Department - Rubber Technology prospectus 1914; Chemistry Department prospectus, 1924; Music Trades School prospectus, 1927 and reviews, 1936-1938; ; School of Architecture prospectus 1939; Catering and Domestic Science Department prospectus c 1950;
Student Records: Student Career Cards, 1910-1971, giving details of name, address, date of birth, education, occupation, courses and marks/grades; Chemistry Department list of students 1919; Department of Architecture, Surveying and Building student record cards, 1943-1947; record cards for University of London General Degree Students, 1969-1975;
Records of Clubs and Societies, including: Old Students Association rules and programmes, 1909-1914; Repertory Company programmes, 1942-1961; Operatic Society programmes 1911-1914, 1955-1966; Sporting Clubs: correspondence and papers, 1963-1975;
Papers relating to Golden Jubilee celebrations, 1946
National College of Rubber Technology: Board of Governors minutes, 1958-1969, agendas, 1948-1969; Finance Committee minutes 1949-1967; papers on new building, 1950-1951;
Presscuttings on the history of the NP, 1899-1971

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

All enquiries should be made be email to

Conditions governing reproduction:

Details available upon request

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Generated and retained in situ by the Northern Polytechnic.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Archives and Special Collections of London Metropolitan University also hold some records of the North Western Polytechnic, which merged with the NP in 1971, to form the Polytechnic of North London.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project. Subsequent amendments made by the Archives Project Team at London Metropolitan University in 2016.

Rules or conventions:
Initially 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:
Mar 2002 and Nov 2016

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