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Southlands College

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 99999 Southlands College
Held at: Roehampton University
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Full title: Southlands College
Date(s): 1851-2002
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 22 shelves and 10 filing cabinets
Name of creator(s): Southlands College


Administrative/Biographical history:

Methodist teacher training for women began in Glasgow Normal Seminary in 1841, and in 1851 Westminster College for Men and Women Students was founded. As a separate college for the training of women teachers, Southlands Wesleyan Training College was opened on 26th February 1872 by the Wesleyan Education Committee. The Committee had chosen a site at Battersea known as the 'Southlands Estate', which contained a large mansion, and proceeded to build practising schools, and later a Principal's House, within the grounds. The first Principal was the Reverend G.W. Olver, and the Headmaster was Mr James Bailey. The government of the College was closely linked to Westminster College, and both institutions shared a Governing Body until 1929. Moreover, the Chairman of the Governors was, until 1921, also the President of the Wesleyan Conference.
The College continued to grow in numbers and reputation, and in 1886 was reckoned the second-best womens' college in the country by the Wesleyan Education Committee. Building work was undertaken to provide a new library, and art room, a laboratory, a new hall and more student accommodation. Several students worked towards degree qualifications. In 1908 the staff was organised into Departments which consisted of Religious Instruction, Principles and Practise of Teaching, English, History and Geography, Mathematics, Science, Latin and Greek, French, Music and Needlework. Various student societies had been in existence from 1872 and the Southlands Student Society was formed c1898/1899 formally as an alumni association, and local branches were set up, although reunions and events had been taking place since the college beginnings.
Though they had initially been used as practising schools, during the 1920s the attached schools were changed to demonstration schools, and were eventually taken over by the local authority when the College moved. This it did in 1929, following its purchase of the 'Belmont Estate' at Wimbledon. The years 1927-1929 were spent at the Burlington Hotel in Dover whilst the Belmont site was prepared for occupation. Three accommodation and teaching blocks were added, and the official opening was held on 7th May 1930.
The College was evacuated to Weston-super-Mare during World War Two, returning in 1946. In 1948 Southlands was made a constituent college of the University of London Institute of Education.
Several properties were bought to house the growing student numbers, including a house on Queensmere Road in 1946, and a new Hall was completed in 1953. Building continued apace, with the Rank block in 1957 and Osborn and Roberts blocks at Queensmere in 1963, and continued well into the 1980s.
With the introduction of the three-year training course in 1960, and the growth in student numbers, went an increased range of courses including a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 1962 and the BEd degree in 1965 (validated by the University of London). Male students were admitted in 1965.
In 1969, the governance of the College was changed: the old Belmont Trust was replaced by a new Trust Deed approved by the Methodist Conference, and a new Instrument of Government for the College was approved by the Methodist Education Committee. This allowed the Governors more complete and effective control over the running of the College.
Plans to form a union of the four voluntary teacher-training colleges in the south-west of London began to take shape in the early 1970s, with the four acting as an academic unity to offer BA, BSc and B Humanities degrees, validated by the University of London, from 1974. The Roehampton Institute of Higher Education (RIHE) was formally incorporated in 1975, with each of the constituent colleges - Froebel, Whitelands, Southlands and Digby Stuart - retaining its own corporate identity. The title Roehampton Institute London was subsequently adopted. Though its degrees were validated by the University of Surrey from 1985, full university status was achieved in 2000, when the Roehampton Institute formally entered into federation with the University of Surrey and became known as the University of Surrey, Roehampton. The move to Roehampton Lane took place in August/September 1997, and Mount Clare House and the student hostels at Roehampton were purchased in 2002.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Southlands College, comprising:

Records of government, including Annual Reports, 1919-1969; minutes of the Trustees, 1927-1968; minutes of the College Governing Body, 1911-1920, 1931-1939, 1965-1970, 1973-1975; minutes of the Governing Body of Southlands and Westminster Training Colleges, [1920-1930]; lists of Governors, 1973-1992; minutes and papers of various committees, including the House Committee, 1953-1962, Finance Committee, 1953-1970, Finance and House Committee, 1930-1940, College Advisory Council, 1973-1992, Estates Committee, 1977-1991, Publicity and Recruitment Committee, 1977-1989, Health and Safety Committee, 1979-1989, Finance and General Purposes Committee, 1978-1994; Faith and Providence Committee, 1966-1987; minutes of the Academic Board, 1967-1974, and the Academic Council, 1967-1975; papers relating to the Planning Group for the relocation from Wimbledon, 1970s-1980s; material concerning the formation of the Roehampton Institute of Higher Education, 1975-1977.

Financial material, including cash books, [1917-1982]; ledgers, [1939-1944]; House Committee bill book, 1915-[1932]; Wesleyan Education Committee accounts for Southlands, 1927-1983; housekeeping and bursar's accounts, 1979-1984; student fees, 1926-1939, 1950-1978; salaries, 1914-1946; catering accounts, 1930-1939; accounts and bills, 1930s-1950s; fees for student accommodation, [1990]; various financial material up to 2002, including budgets, invoices, banking schedules, and payroll.

Student records, including student registers (some containing application forms, reports and testimonials), [1905-1910], 1918-1920, 1930-1939 and 1948-1990; student admission forms, 1932-1934; student testimonials, 1938-1946; student teaching reports, 1877-1882, 1891-1895, 1946-1948; entry lists, [1969-1997]; residence lists, 1968-1990; directory of students and teachers, 1923-1939; student log book, [1900-1910]; volume relating to the College giving lists of officers, staff and members of student groups, as well as staff at Southlands Girls School, [1910-1965].

Staff register, 1895-[1939]; staff records for the Southlands Wesleyan Practising School, [1897-1908; minutes of staff meetings, 1940-1965; papers of the Southlands Staff Association, 1979-1983; staff records, 1950s-1990.

Printed library catalogue, 1907; library accessions books, 1957-1988.

Curriculum material, including timetable, 1910; examination papers, [1887-1911] and results, 1882-1927; and pass lists, [1930-2000].

Material relating to inspections and visitations, notably inspection reports on the Southlands Wesleyan Practising School, 1893-1903; various papers relating to inspections and visitation, [1930-1984], including the Teacher Training Enquiry; papers and correspondence with Local Education Authorities, 1990.

Records of student societies, notably papers of the Southlands Student Society, [1908-1969], including membership lists, reunion minutes and lists of branch meetings; and papers relating to the Student Union, including lists of officials, 1966-1991, and handbooks, 1959-1995.

Material relating to College buildings, notably plans and drawings; contracts for building work, 1930s-1970s, at Wimbledon and Roehampton Lane; material relating to college buildings, including architects drawings, 1997 and 2002, including relocation of the college in 1997 and acquisition of Mount Clare Site, Roehampton; architects drawings, [1890-1970s].

Personal ephemera donated by former students, including college badges, examples of sewing and embroidery, exercise books and essays, 1873-1960s; other student artefacts, paintings, prize books, college shields and gifts.

Photographs, c1851-2002, of College buildings at Battersea, Dover, Wimbledon and Roehampton Lane, including interior and exterior details of buildings and grounds; other photographs including photo albums, framed photos and individual phots with run of student year groups, staff groups, drama productions, other student activities, sport, reunions, classrooms, lessons, teaching practice and parties, and related audio-visual material.

Publications: Southlands Debating Society Magazine, 1902, 1908-1910; Southlander, 1923, 1927-1952; Focus, 1973-1989; Grapevine, 1990-1995; Scream, 1996-1999; Southlands Student Society Magazine, 1968-1998; Southlands Student Society newssheet, 1940-1973.

Publicity material, including newspaper cuttings, 1932-present; College prospectuses, [1940s]-2000; RIHE newsletters, 1988-1999, Annual Reports, [1984-1999], and prospectuses and handbooks, 1976-2000; material relating to College events, including Foundation Day, 1978, and the Centenary, 1992.

Material relating to the history of the College, including legal documents and deeds relating to the acquisition of the Belmont Estate and the creation of the Roehampton Institute of Higher Education, [1850-1977].

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Much of the collection is arranged according to a classification scheme. Parts are uncatalogued.

Conditions governing access:

By appointment only. Contact the College Archivist for details. Some confidential material may be closed to the public.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies available for research purposes, at the discretion of the Archivist.

Finding aids:

A detailed catalogue exists for some of the collection.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The Southlands Archive was largely the creation of Miss M.P. Callard (Principal 1965-1977), who encouraged the building up of a separate collection of documents, programmes and reminiscences concerning the College. A few items were found in the basement of Chapman Building from the packing up of 1940, including the Teaching Practise Criticism Books and some pictures. The collecting of material covering 1877-1895 was largely the result of an appeal to former students at the time of the College Centenary in 1972.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Various minutes from 1992-current are kept by the College administration. Some student and staff records are housed at Whitelands College, University of Surrey Roehampton.

Further material is held at the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, namely: Minutes of the College Governing Body, 1929-1993; minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee, 1964-1993l and minutes of the Academic Board, 1966-1992.

Publication note:

Southlands Training College, Battersea SW, 1872-1906; Southlands Training College, retrospect - prospect, 1872-1928, supplement 1 (1932); H Walker, 'A history of Southlands College' (unpublished study); Eva Williams, The history of Southlands College, 1872-1972 (1972); Douglas Millbank, Years of change: a history of Southlands College, 1970-1985 (Roehampton Institute, 1985).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

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:
Feb 2002

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