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Bradford Institute of Technology Archive

Archive reference: BIT

The Institute of Technology later became the University of Bradford.

The Bradford Institute of Technology

In 1956, the Ministry of Education issued the White Paper on Technical Education. Among other provisions, a small number of technical colleges would "concentrate entirely on advanced studies ... undergraduate, postgraduate and research". Bradford Technical College was later named as one of these Colleges of Advanced Technology. The new college was confirmed as Bradford Institute of Technology by the Hives Committee in 1959. The Institute's purpose was to "provide a broad range and substantial volume of work exclusively at an advanced level including postgraduate and research work" under conditions comparable with those of a university. The name of Bradford Technical College was retained as an institution to undertake work of a level below Higher National Certificate.

The years from 1956 to 1959 were critical for the new institution. The Principal, Richardson, had retired. An awkward interregnum, including the failed appointment of Dr Dippy, left the College leaderless at a difficult time. Fortunately the post was filled in late 1957 by the appointment of Dr Ted Edwards.

Dr Edwards managed to salvage a "year of grace" after a disastrous visit by the Hives Committee in October 1957. He found solutions to the immense difficulties of space, one of which was the acquisition of the old theological college on Emm Lane. Thanks to the great efforts of staff, the Institute was able to satisfy the Hives Committee on their return.

The work of the Institute expanded rapidly: in 1957 there were 124 students enrolled on degree courses and 56 lecturers and senior members of academic staff, by 1966 there were 2,600 students and over 350 academic staff.

Ted Edwards believed that the administration of the Institute by the local authority would make it more difficult to expand. In 1962 Bradford City Council relinquished control of the Institute, which became responsible directly to the Ministry of Education. In 1966 the Institute was granted its Royal Charter and became the University of Bradford.

This account is based on two books by Robert McKinlay: The University of Bradford: origins and development, and The University of Bradford: the early years. The story continues on the University Archive webpage.

The Archive

The Archive includes:

  • Minutes and meeting papers of the Governing Body, the Board of Studies, the Academic Board, Heads of Departments, Library Committee, Special Committees of Studies, and Committee on Academic Dress.
  • Calendars and prospectuses.
  • Principal's files: reports, meetings, correspondence, articles and addresses.
  • Finance Officer: wages and salaries, ledgers, accounts.
  • Information Office: correspondence, News sheet, press statements and cuttings, publicity film.
  • Library: Librarian's report, library indexes, publications of the Institute.
    Students' Union publications and accounts.
  • Photographs of sites and events.
  • Bradford City Council Education Committee minutes 1956-1962.