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Academic Departments of Bedford College

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0505 BC AL200-900
Held at: Royal Holloway, University of London
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Full title: Academic Departments of Bedford College
Date(s): 1849-1985
Level of description: Subfonds of Bedford College
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Extent: 401 boxes and 3 volumes or 4.04 cubic metres
Name of creator(s): Bedford College | Academic Departments
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Hygiene Diploma, intended as a preparation for women intending to take posts in the Department of Public Health, ran from 1895-1919. Taking over its role in 1916 was the newly formed Social Studies Department, which had been created as the result of an application by the Charity Organisations Society for courses of lectures on Social Economics and Social Ethics as part of the C.O.S. Certificate for Social Workers. In 1918, the Department changed its name to the Department of Sociology, Social Studies and Economics. By 1912 a special course in Public Health had been arranged for international nurses with scholarships from the League of Red Cross Societies, and continued for six years. At this point a Committee comprising College members, representatives of the League and the College of Nursing, was formed to carry on and develop this course. A second course for Nurse Administrators and Teachers in Schools of Nursing was set up in 1925-1926. In 1934 the courses were carried on under the auspices of the Florence Nightingale International Foundation.

The Department for the Professional Training of Teachers was inaugurated in 1892, and a Loan Fund created to help the students (this was extended to the whole College in 1896). It quickly established a reputation as a leading training Centre for Assistant Mistresses in secondary schools, and received grants from the Board of Education. It was closed in 1922 following the demolition of South Villa, where it had been housed since 1913.

Art students had attended Bedford College since its opening in 1849. An Art Studio was provided at Bedford Square, which was the first in England to allow women to paint and draw from the life. A gradual decline in the number of pupils, despite injections of funds from female artists such as Madame Bodichon (Barbara Leigh Smith), led to its closure in 1914.


Scope and content/abstract:

Material relating to Academic Departments of Bedford College, including papers of the German Department, 1973-1983; recollections of the Dutch Studies Department by Professor Theodore Weevers, 1985; Departmental files of the History Department, 1958-1985; papers of Professor C H Lawrence, History Department, 1970-1985; Departmental files of the Sociology Department, 1930-1984; papers relating to Nursing Studies Courses, 1896-1985, including the Public Hygiene Course; papers relating to the Bedford College Art School, 1900-1913; papers relating to the Training Department, 1902-1922, including reports, registers, correspondence relating to scholarships and Council grants, accounts and Board of Education papers; papers of the Mathematics Department, 1978-1982; papers of the Biochemistry Department, 1964-1978; papers of the Botany Department, 1908-1985, including material relating to the E N Thomas affair, 1908-1916, and papers collected by Dr Linna Bentley, 1918-1984; building plans for the Zoology Department, 1970. Papers relating to Staff Publications, 1926-[1969], including Minutes and papers of the Research and Publications Fund Committee.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged according to Department.

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 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 correspondence with Academic Departments and Staff, 1878-1984 (BC AR330-339) and 1901-1982 (BC AR388/1-7); Registrar's papers containing material relating to meetings of the Heads of Science Departments, 1970-1971 (AR270/6/1), Departmental Boards, 1968-1978 (AR270/8/1-5), and the rotation of departmental headships, 1972-1977 (AR270/9/1-2); and photographs relating to the Departments, 1922-1985 (BC PH4).

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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