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Principal's Office of Royal Holloway College

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0505 RHC AR100-180
Held at: Royal Holloway, University of London
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Full title: Principal's Office of Royal Holloway College
Date(s): 1887-1966
Level of description: Subfonds of Royal Holloway College
View parent record
Extent: 37 boxes
Name of creator(s): Royal Holloway College | Principal's Office
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Foundation Deed of Royal Holloway College laid down that the Principal should be an unmarried woman or childless widow, a stipulation which was adhered to until the Royal Holloway College Act of 1962. The Principal had responsibility for the entire internal management and discipline of the College (subject to the approval of the Council). Her department's administrative responsibilities therefore included student welfare and discipline, examinations, Chapel services and general administration of the Household staff. Miss E M Guinness acted as Vice-Principal from 1899-1908, entailing the transfer of her Library duties to the Principal's Department, though she was eventually replaced by an administrative assistant. The assistant's duties, already reduced by the appointment of a full-time librarian in 1935, were divided after 1937 between the Principal's Secretary and a Tutor. The latter became responsible for discipline and student welfare, while the Principal's Secretary, who was also given the title of Registrar, became responsible for student records and examinations. In 1944, with the creation of a separate Registry, the post became known as the Principal's Private Secretary. The post of Tutor, initially an experimental one, proved a success and by 1946 there were two Tutors and a Dean. The post of Vice-Principal was reinstituted in 1946, to be filled by a member of academic staff.

The Principal maintained close contact with the administrative staff, seeing the College Secretary, the Housekeeper, the Nurse and the Caretaker every morning, the Butler and the Gardener twice a week, and the Cook, Engineer and Nightwatchman when necessary. This system remained in place until the growth of the College in the 1960s.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Principal's Office of Royal Holloway College, 1887-1966, comprising papers relating to College functions, 1934-1939, 1946-1947, 1952, including the Garden Party, Commemoration Day, and Royal visits. Papers concerning the Royal Holloway College Association, 1907-1908 and 1934-1944, including letters and circulars requesting that women be admitted to the Board of Governors, 1907-1908, arrangements for RHCA meetings, 1935-1944, and subscription to the Jubilee Fellowship Fund, 1934-1935. Staff Records, 1888-1956, mainly comprising letters and reports on conditions of service and residence, and timetables. Papers of the Senior Student, 1909-1962, mainly correspondence with the Principal relating to the Student's Union and student affairs at Royal Holloway College, including social and domestic regulations. Material concerning the College Chapel, including Registers of attendance at Church of England and Free Church services, 1887-1966; service sheets, 1900-1965, and service papers, 1905-1963; Forms of Service and sermons, 1887, 1897, 1935 and 1965; accounts, 1887-1961, detailing receipts and expenditure from Chapel Offertories; correspondence and memoranda, 1887-1945 and 1965, including reports on the College Waif, 1932-1945. Correspondence and memoranda, 1895-1944, including material relating to the University of London Constitution, 1895-1927, notably the Haldane Commission on University Education in London, and the University of London Act (1926); memoranda, letters and papers relating to the University of London, 1909-1957, including the conferment of University titles on members of the Royal Holloway College Staff, 1909-1914, war-time regulations and supplies, 1939-1947, and recruitment for the Women's Royal Air Force, 1951-1952, 1957; memoranda relating to Royal Holloway College, 1899-1944, on subjects including the administration of the College, academic scholarships and prizes, constitution of the Academic Board, College sporting societies, student fees, faculty work and the staffing of departments; correspondence, 1912-1948, mainly relating to air raid precautions during World War Two, and the occupation of the east side of Founder's Building by the Auxiliary Territorial Service. Royal Holloway College regulations and notices, 1906-1960, notably instructions to students, duties of various administrative staff, duties of various academic staff, notes for members of the Senior Common Room, fire precautions, regulations for the playing of sports, and hospitality.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Papers are arranged in bound volumes or files 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 College Archivist.

Finding aids:

'A guide to Royal Holloway College Archives' by Derryan Paul, Jun 1973.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Royal Holloway, University of London Archives hold the papers of the Committee on Chapel Services, 1887-1898 (RHC GB202); the papers of the Senior Student, 1906-1944, which contain correspondence with various Principals (RHC AS160-164); photographs of Principals and their staff (RHC PH282), and College functions (RHC PH200-201); portraits of various Principals (RHC PH283); papers of the Principal's Portrait Committee, 1925-1926 (RHC AS915).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

The history of Royal Holloway College, 1886-1986 (Constable, London, 1987), by Caroline Bingham.

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:
Apr 2000

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