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King's College London Secretary's in-correspondence

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0100 KCLCA KA/IC
Held at: King's College London College Archives
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Full title: King's College London Secretary's in-correspondence
Date(s): 1828-1919, 1926
Level of description: Series of King's College London Archives
Extent: 1919 bundles
Name of creator(s): King' s College London | College Secretary's Department


Administrative/Biographical history:

Between 1831 and 1988 the College Secretary rose from Secretary to the Principal and Council to senior administrative officer of the College. Throughout the period the College Secretary had responsibility for servicing the Council, its main standing and special subcommittees, and the Academic Board. In the 1960s, the post of Academic Registrar was reorganised to reflect the coordinated responsibility for student admission and examinations with the Department. Between 1828-1919 King's College enjoyed the services of just four College Secretaries, two of whom served for remarkably long periods, H W Smith, 1829-1848 and J W Cunningham, 1848-1894. Until Cunningham's retirement in 1894 the College's in and out correspondence and bills and accounts were arranged in just two sequences. At year end the in-letters and bills were bundled alphabetically and chronologically respectively and until late into the nineteenth century fitted into a single wooden deed box. With the appointment of S T Shovelton in 1895 came the introduction of modern filing (see KAS/GC, AC and AD) but bundles continued to be used on occasion until 1915. The series is remarkably complete until the late 1890s when there is some evidence of modest losses.


Scope and content/abstract:

The in-correspondence series for 1828-1919, 1926, includes both the significant and less significant correspondence of the College from its foundation to its incorporation in the University of London. Chiefly addressed to the Principal or College Secretary, coverage includes everything from the College's major business to letters from parents obliged to withdraw their children from College temporarily or permanently due to illness or changed domestic circumstances. Also included are the testimonials of successful (and sometimes unsuccessful) applicants for posts and correspondence of academic staff in relation to syllabi and teaching arrangements. Letters in the series are referred to in the out-letter books and the Council Minutes.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In-correspondence is arranged alphabetically and then chronologically. By 1992 a majority of the deed boxes were collapsing, and a decision was taken to re-order the bundles in an integrated alphabetical sequence.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be provided for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive Services, King's College London.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogues are available in hard copy in the reading room of the College Archives.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

College Secretary's Department.

Allied Materials

Related material:

King's College London Archives holds College Secretary's out-letter books (KA/OLB), College Secretary's files relating to policy, 1828-1992 (KAS/GC) and academic departments and academic initiatives, 1896-1900 (KAS/AC); Library files relating to administration, 1925-1994 (KAL/AD), some letters are referenced in the Council minute books, 1828-1996 (KA/C/M).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: King's College London catalogues. Compiler: Julie Tancell.

Rules or conventions:
National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997; ISAD(G), Second edition, 2000.

Date(s) of descriptions:
May 2000

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