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Committees of the Council of Bedford College

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0505 BC GB150-180
Held at: Royal Holloway, University of London
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Full title: Committees of the Council of Bedford College
Date(s): 1868-1985
Level of description: Subfonds of Bedford College
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Extent: 63 boxes and 87 volumes or 1.5 cubic metres
Name of creator(s): Bedford College | Council | Committees
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The power to create Standing and Special Committees was given to the Council of Bedford College when the Articles of Association were drawn up in 1869. This power remained with the Council following the Incorporation by Royal Charter in 1909, with the Chairman of Council, the Honorary Treasurer, the Vice-Chairman, the Principal and the Vice-Principal all becoming ex officio members of every Committee. All appointments to Committees were made annually by the Council at its first meeting after the AGM, with the term of office usually being three years. All Committees were required to appoint a Chairman, and the Secretary of the Council also acted as Secretary to all its Committees.

Standing Committees comprise:
The Finance Committee, formed by the Council in 1889, with the Honorary Treasurer being automatically created its Chair after administrative reforms in 1899. The Charter of 1909 allowed for its four members to be elected by the Council, though revisions to the by-laws in 1972, 1977, 1979 and 1983 meant it became much larger and made up of the ex officio members plus the Deans of the Faculties, the President and Vice-President of the Union Society, and 8-10 Governors. The Committee is responsible for reporting to the Council on all financial affairs of the College.
The Policy and Estimates Committee, instituted by the Council in 1972, and revoked in 1979. It consisted of the Chairman of the Council, the Honorary Treasurer, the Principal, the Deans of the Faculties, 2 lay members of the Council, and 4 members elected by the Academic Board. Its role was to advise the Council on development policy in its inter-related academic, physical and financial aspects, and to exercise scrutiny over quinquennial and annual estimates of expenditure. Reports were sent to the Council and the Academic Board.
Standing Committee on Laboratory Expenditure.
The Committee of Education, constituted by the Committee of Management in 1868, and intended to address all educational questions. The original members were Pattison, Bostock, Bryce and Eleanor Smith, and one of their number met with all students entering the College to advise them in their choice of subjects. The Committee had the main responsibility for the administration of educational matters, such as timetables and examinations. (A Sub-Committee was formed in 1882 for the purpose of advising students on courses of study, but seems to have only functioned at the beginning of term.) In 1881 the Council passed a resolution allowing Professors to elect three of their number onto the Committee of Education, with Staff representation increasing to six in 1892. The Committee was replaced by the Board of Education in 1896. The Board consisted of three ex officio members (Chairman and Honorary Secretary of the Council, and the Principal) and five representatives each from the Council and the teaching staff. This incarnation possessed wide advisory powers in educational matters, including staff appointments. In the 1909 Royal Charter of Incorporation the Board of Education was replaced by the Academic Board.
Physical Education Committee.
In 1871 the Professors were requested by the Council to form themselves into Board of Studies, though there appear to have been no regular meetings for ten years. At their occasional meetings they gave general advice on educational matters, and in 1881 were allowed by the Council to elect three representatives to the Education Committee. At the meeting to elect these representatives, the staff also resolved to meet twice a term and appointed a Chairman and Secretary. From then on the Staff Meeting met regularly, at least once a term, with duties including the nomination of students for scholarships and other minor educational matters referred to it by the Council. The membership of the Staff Meeting was officially laid down in 1882, and was initially confined to Professors, though Assistant staff were invited to attend and take part. In the by-laws of 1902, membership was widened to include Lecturers, Assistant Lecturers, and the Principal. By 1892, the representation of the Staff Meeting on the Education Committee had increased to six. Following agitation by the Staff Meeting for official representation in the government of Bedford College, the new Board of Education was set up in 1896, the composition of which included five members of the staff. The duties of the Staff Meeting were taken over by the Academic Board in 1909.
The Loan Fund Committee for the Training of Teachers came into being following the inauguration at Bedford College of the Department for Professional Training of Teachers. A Loan Fund was set up for students in the Department in 1892, though this was extended to all students of the College in 1896 (see Principal's Loan Fund).

Building Committees were founded on an ad hoc basis in response to a particular need until 1978. Therefore there are Committees relating to different building projects undertaken by the College, such as the Premises Committee, 1908-1915, which oversaw the purchase and alteration of the Regent's Park site and worked hand-in-hand with the Building Fund Committee that raised funds for the venture. The Regent's Park site was subject to constant extension and building work, especially following severe bombing in World War Two, and several Committees were set up to control planning, expenditure, and contracts. The House Committee, created in 1876, was a different matter. Its role was to superintend the maintenance of the College premises and residences, regulate the housekeeping expenses and submit reports to the Council and Finance Committee every term. It consisted of five Governors appointed by the Council, one member of the teaching staff nominated annually by the Academic Board, and the Principal, who was to act as ex officio Secretary. In 1978 overall responsibility for building and maintenance was put into the hands of the Estates Management Committee, which took on domestic concerns as well as building and maintenance. It consisted of the ex officio Committee members, three Councillors, three teaching staff, one member of the Space Committee, two undergraduate students appointed by the Bedford College Union Society, one post-graduate student, and the Wardens of the Halls of Residence. Its brief was to monitor negotiations for the purchase, sale, lease or planning permission of sites and premises; to supervise the planning, costing, drawing up of contracts and progress of building, improvement and maintenance work; to control and supervise the management and routine maintenance of College's grounds, premises and household services; to present accounts and estimates for building work; to report expenditure on maintenance of the household, Refectory, Halls of Residence, sports facilities and parking; and present recommendations for fees and charges.

Special Committees were formed as required, mainly to deal with constitutional matters. For example, the Acland Committee, formed in 1899 and chaired by the Rt Hon Arthur Herbert Dyke Acland, was appointed 'to consider steps for the setting of the College on a sound financial basis' and 'to recommend to the Council any changes in the constitution or organisation of the College...' Its report resulted in the increase of College revenue and the increased representation of the staff in the government of the College. Other Special Committees have been set up to scrutinise the implications of the admission of men to Bedford College, and the possibility of merging with various other colleges of the University of London, including Westfield, King's College, and Royal Holloway. Joint Planning Committees of Bedford College and Royal Holloway College oversaw the mechanics of the merger in 1982-1985.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to Standing Committees of Bedford College, including Minutes, correspondence and papers of the Finance Committee, 1889-1985; Minutes of the Financial Management and Investment Sub-Committee, 1982-1985; Minutes of the Policy and Estimates Committee, 1972-1979; Minutes, correspondence and papers of the Standing Committee on Laboratory Expenditure, 1944-1985; Minutes of the Committee of Education, 1868-1909; Minutes, 1903-1907, and reports, 1937, of the Physical Education Committee; Minutes of the Professors' Meetings, 1881-1909; Minutes of the Loan Fund Committee for the Training of Teachers, 1892-1896.

Papers relating to the Building Committees of Bedford College, including Minutes and papers of the Premises Committee, 1908-1915; Minutes and papers of the South Villa Demolition Committee, 1919-1921; Minutes of the Building Fund Committee, 1908-1914; Minutes of the Building Committee, 1926-1932; Minutes of the Committee for Alterations to the Library, 1931-1932; Minutes and papers of the Reconstruction Committee, 1943-1967, and its Sub-Committee, 1947-1949; Minutes of the Buildings Committee, 1954-1978; Minutes of the House Committee, 1876-1975; Minutes and reports of the Household Management Committee, 1972-1978; Minutes of the Estate Management Committee, 1978-1983.

Papers relating to Special and Ad Hoc Committees of Bedford College, including papers of a Special Committee, 1878; papers of a Special (Treasury Grant) Committee, 1905-1906; papers of a Special Joint Committee (Acland Committee), 1901; papers of a Special Committee on Organisation and Finance, 1901-1919; and papers of a Special Committee on the Admission of Men, 1963-1964; papers of a Joint Committee of Governors and Council to Review the Charter and Statutes, 1966; papers relating to the Mallaby Report on machinery of government and the Ward-Jackson Review of Committee Structure, 1968-1969; papers of a joint Committee of the Councils of Bedford and Westfield Colleges, 1979-1982; papers of a Joint Planning Committee of King's College London and Bedford College, 1981; papers of a Joint Planning Committee of Royal Holloway and Bedford Colleges, 1982; papers of Joint Meetings of the Councils of Bedford and Royal Holloway Colleges, 1983-1985; papers and correspondence relating to the merger of Royal Holloway and Bedford Colleges, 1982-1983.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Administrative and Committee papers are closed for 30 years from the last date on file. Papers relating to individuals are usually closed for 100 years from the subject's birth. Users are advised to consult the College Archivist for specific details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies of open material may be supplied, subject to the condition of the original. Requests to publish original material should be directed to the College Archivist.

Finding aids:

'A catalogue of the Archives of Bedford College (University of London), 1849-1985' by Claire Gobbi Daunton and Elizabeth Bennett, 1987.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The papers were transferred from the Bedford College Archives when the College merged with Royal Holloway in 1985.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Royal Holloway, University of London Archives hold Secretary's papers including material relating to Council Committees (BC AR385/4), working papers relating to Committee Structure, 1970-1971 (BC AR385/7/8), and correspondence regarding the reorganisation of the Household Management and Buildings Committees, 1972-1978 (BC AR385/8/1); Registrar's papers containing material relating to the Finance Committee, 1972-1984 (BC AR271/2/1-4), the House Committee, 1965-1983 (BC AR271/3/1-5), the Premises Committee, 1969-1972 (BC AR271/4/1), the Mallaby Committee, 1964 (BC AR277/2/1), relations with Westfield College, 1972-1981 (BC AR280/1/1-3), discussions with King's College, 1981 (281/1/1), and papers relating to the merger with Royal Holloway College, 1981-1985 (BC AR283/1/1-4); papers of the Academic Board (BC AL100-109); papers of the Principal's Loan Fund (BC AR470); plans relating to the Library Extension and complementing the Minutes of that building committee (BC AL990); and papers relating to building committees (BC AR500-750).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

A history of Bedford College for Women, 1849-1937 (Oxford University Press, London, 1939), by Dame Margaret Jansen Tuke; Educating women: a pictorial history of Bedford College, University of London, 1849-1985 (Alma Publishers, Surrey, 1991), by Dr Linna Bentley.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the 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:
Mar 2000

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