Special Collections on the History of the University of Bradford

Special Collections manages the heritage and memory of the University.  Our story goes back to the 19th century, when Bradford needed technical education to make its wool and dyeing industries more competitive.  Bradford Technical College was founded in 1882.  After many years of campaigning for University status, in 1957 the higher education side became a College of Advanced Technology (Bradford Institute of Technology) while the further education side became what is now Bradford College.  The University of Bradford received its Charter on 18 October 1966.

Our collections include the archives of the Technical College, Institute, and the University itself and books published by these organisations. You will also find archives of academic staff and other University people, and collections relating to organisations linked to the University.


Bradford Technical College Archive

The College was set up in 1882 to provide technical education for Bradford's industries. Find out more through photographs, publications and ephemera.

Student Newspapers

Javelin and its successors are essential sources for the history of student life, plus culture and social life of Bradford

Adam Curle Archive

Our first Professor of Peace Studies, also a poet and mediator

Alternative Defence Commission Archive

Based at the University in the early 1980s, this group explored ways in which Britain could defend itself if it abandoned nuclear weapon

Archives of the Quaker Peace Studies Trust

The Trust provides essential support to the work of Peace Studies at the University

Archives of the Commonweal Collection

Commonweal is an independent peace library housed at the University and intertwined with the story of Peace Studies

Barbara Castle Cabinet Diaries

The diaries of this Bradford-born honorary graduate and politician give a vivid picture of her work in the UK Labour governments of the 1960s and 70s.

Bradford Institute of Technology Archive

College of Advanced Technology, hived off from the Technical College in 1957, becoming the University in 1966.

Fred Singleton Archive

Papers of an academic who helped established Yugoslav Studies in the UK, also researched Yorkshire and Finland, and was an active campaigner

The Papers of Baroness Lockwood

Chancellor 1997-2005, a Yorkshire-born Labour activist who campaigned for equality and education

Ted Edwards Archive

Our first Vice-Chancellor, with particular interest in "inter-disciplinarity", students' rights, peace campaigns and social responsibility in science.

University of Bradford Archive

Our largest and most complex archive is full of records, photographs, publicity materials and much much more

The John Laredo South African Archive

Social scientist and anti-apartheid campaigner

University Book Collection

Published record of the University, including Bradford University Press books and ones written by staff