An online archive of memorabilia showcasing 100 years of Leeds Metropolitan University’s rich history is to be launched.
The archive will be launched in the new academic year to mark centenary of the opening of the City of Leeds Training College, one of the University’s predecessors, which opened on June 13.
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 an online archive which will launch in September and be available to view on the www.leedsmet.ac.uk website. Among the more unusual items are wooden training guns, reflecting the time the Headingley Campus was used by the military authorities during both world wars.
On June 13, 1913 the new 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. The Lord and Lady Mayor of Leeds were among those gathered in the Great Hall of the College as well as the Bishop of Ripon and the Vicar of Leeds.
The Leeds Training College had been established six years earlier in 1907; the Leeds Education Committee identified a need for a teacher training accommodation, brought home by events that year that saw nearly 100 pupil teachers in the Leeds area unable to obtain training college places despite passing their exams.
Leeds Met’s principal information assistant for archives, Keith Rowntree, who has selected and collated the objects for the online archive, explained: “The university has a rich heritage and the archive and special collections endeavours to promote and provide access to this to our students, staff, alumni and visitors, thereby enriching their university experience. This online archive will allow us to not only mark the centenary but creates an opportunity to further protect and preserve the items we hold and above all begins a process to enable greater access to those holdings.
“The selection to be displayed online is not our entire archive – but will hopefully give a flavour of what we hold in the archive and special collections.
“The most important part for me has been the writing of descriptions which are the key for potential users of the archive, including future generations, to access the information for all types of research and enquiry.”
Leeds Metropolitan University’s Vice Chancellor, Susan Price, said the collection would help commemorate a major date in the history of the university.
She said: “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 own and our predecessor’s history and I’m delighted that we are celebrating this centenary by making part of our heritage internationally accessible.”
Following the establishment of the City of Leeds Training College in 1907 and the grand opening in 1913, Carnegie Hall was built on the same estate in 1933, and housed the Carnegie College of Physical Training. “In 1964 the training college had been renamed City of Leeds College of Education and in 1968 was merged with the Carnegie College of Physical Education becoming City of Leeds and Carnegie College. This College merged with Leeds Polytechnic in 1976.
“In 1992, Leeds Polytechnic became Leeds Metropolitan University.”