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Student Associations of Bedford College

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0505 BC AS120-150 and AS900-910
Held at: Royal Holloway, University of London
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Full title: Student Associations of Bedford College
Date(s): 1894-1984
Level of description: Subfonds of Bedford College
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Extent: 37 boxes and 1 volume or 0.38 cubic metres
Name of creator(s): Bedford College Students' Association
Bedford College Union Society
Bedford College Old Students' Association
Bedford College Association
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Bedford College Student's Association was founded in 1894 to represent both past and present students. The post of Senior Student was created by the Principal in 1894 to act as liaison between the Principal and the pupils, though the latter had no role in choosing their representative. By 1908, the workload of the Senior Student was so heavy that three aide de camps (one each for Arts, Science and the Training Department) were added, and to this group fell the responsibility for the good conduct of the students and the general organisation of student affairs. Following the creation in 1913 of the Bedford College Union Society, the office of Senior Student was retained and supplemented by a Treasurer, Secretary and a Committee of four members. The Senior Student was then elected by the whole body of members, with the Principal having a veto and the ability to put forward nominees. In 1922 the Senior Student assumed the title of President of the BCUS. By 1923 the present students were adequately represented by the Union, so the Bedford College Students' Association became responsible for former students only, becoming the Bedford College Old Students' Association. In 1963, its name was again changed, to the Bedford College Association. The Union, meanwhile, was responsible for all College Societies (except the Athletic Union and religious societies). Initially, not all students became members of the Union, until the problem of Union fees was solved by merging them with the fees for tuition, at which point membership became compulsory. By 1973, there was student representation on Bedford College Council.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to Bedford College Union Society, 1894-1984, including the Senior Student's Book, 1894-1923; Minutes of the Executive Council of the Bedford College Student's Association, later BCUS, 1894-1983; BCUS general correspondence with College Secretary, 1919-1966; minutes of BCUS General Meetings, 1942-1984; minutes of the Finance Committee of BCUS, 1960-1983; printed draft Constitution of the BCUS, 1966; copies of BCUS publications concerning student activities, [1970-1985]; copies of the Bedford College Student's Handbook, 1966-1982; student ephemera, including sports shields, cups and badges. Papers of the Bedford College Old Student's Association, 1906-1986, including minutes, agendas and papers of the BCOSA, 1911-1974; correspondence and papers of the BCOSA, 1906-1968, and the Bedford College Association, 1969-1974; BCOSA Cash Books, 1920-1951; bound copies of Bedford College Old Student's Reports, 1922-1986, containing reports of meetings and information on former students; BCA Calendars, 1975-1984.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged according to subject.

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 photographs of Alma Mason, Senior Student from 1909-1910 (BC PH1), and of the Union Committees (BC PH/1/2/3).

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 accordance 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:
Apr 2000

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