Leeds Met online archive widens access to University's heritage
Archivist Keith Rowntree
Two collections have been added to the website, http://archives.leedsmet.ac.uk, reflecting the activities of former colleges, the City of Leeds Training College and Carnegie College of Physical Training.
College magazines, documents, prospectuses, handbooks, letters, college blazers and photographs are just some of the hundreds of items that have been catalogued, scanned and photographed to create the online archive which will be accessible to view from September 26.
Among the more interesting items are wooden training guns, from the time the Headingley Campus was used by the military authorities during both World Wars. The website also showcases cine film of Carnegie students shot in the 1930s from the Ambrose Congdon Donation.
The motivation for creating the online archive collection came about as part of celebrations of this year's centenary of the opening of the City of Leeds Training College, one of the University's predecessors.
On 13 June 1913 the new Leeds Training College, which had been established six years earlier in 1907, was officially opened on the former Kirkstall Grange Estate at Beckett Park, which now forms Leeds Met's Headingley Campus. Prior to the event a luncheon was held by the Lord Mayor of Leeds in the Town Hall, before guests travelled by specially commissioned tramcars to the Training College.
Leeds Met's Archivist, Keith Rowntree, who has selected and collated the objects for the online archive, explains: "It may surprise many just what a rich heritage the University has. The Archive and Special Collections was set up to promote and provide access to our collections - to our students, staff, alumni and visitors, potentially enriching their University experience. This online archive creates an opportunity to begin allowing greater access to our holdings and creates an opportunity to further protect and preserve the resources we hold.
"The two collections now included in our website are only a fraction of our entire archive but will hopefully signal our intent to communicate the breadth of what we hold in the Archive and Special Collections. An important part of this for me has been writing archival descriptions - an on-going job - which is the key to allowing potential users, including future generations, access to this information for all many kinds of research and enquiry."
Leeds Metropolitan University's Vice Chancellor, Susan Price, commented: "This digital collection will add to the already exceptional Archive and Special Collections housed by Leeds Met libraries. The opening of the City of Leeds Training College was a major date in our history and I'm delighted that the celebration of this centenary has prompted us to make part of our heritage internationally accessible."
Although the City of Leeds Training College was established in 1907, it wasn't until 1912 that it began the move into purpose-built premises on the Kirkstall Grange estate formerly owned by the Beckett family. Carnegie Hall was built on the same estate in 1933, housing the Carnegie College of Physical Training. In 1964 the training college was renamed City of Leeds College of Education and in 1968 merged with the Carnegie College of Physical Education becoming City of Leeds and Carnegie College. This College became part of Leeds Polytechnic in 1976. In 1992, Leeds Polytechnic became Leeds Metropolitan University.