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Special Collections: Schools, Colleges and Universities Histories Collection

History of Education Sources

Schools, Colleges and Universities Histories Collection

The Schools, Colleges and Universities Histories Collection tells the stories of individual schools and their communities across Britain.

The collection includes around 2,500 books and pamphlets, dating from the early twentieth century up to the present day. (Older materials, mainly from the nineteenth century, are held in the History of Education Collection.) Schools range from local village schools, to secondary modern, grammar, comprehensive and public schools. In some cases the schools are traced from medieval or Elizabethan days to modern times; others give more detail of recent changes and developments.

Written by current and former pupils, parents, local researchers, architects, educationalists and academics, these books provide a wealth of information about all aspects of school life, including:

• Local management of education
• Social background of pupils and their families
• Impact of World Wars on schools
• School life: uniforms, dinners, rules, discipline
• Histories of girls'/boys' education
• School buildings
• Changes in the curriculum

Size: c.2,500 items

Type/format: Books and pamphlets

Dates: c1919 -

Accrual policy: Open

Bedford Way

Reference only.

The collection is listed in the Library Catalogue.

The Institutional Histories Project
The development of this collection is part of a Heritage Lottery funded project. In addition to cataloguing and conservation, the project has enabled us to produce supporting materials for teachers and local historians, and a traveling exhibition.

Useful Links


Field End School

(From:  Photographic Archive of the Architects' and Building Branch, Ministry of Education and its successors, IOE)

Investigating your School's History

The following resources can help you construct your own school's history.  The pack consists of a teacher's guide to supporting enquiry into the history of schooling in the UK at Key Stages 2 and 3.

School Histories Collection at the IOE Library