For the first time ever, the wonderfully rich story of Bradford’s Technical College, its staff and students, and their links with local industries, can be discovered online – via a new catalogue of BTC’s archive (available in Word or PDF on its web page).
Half of a 200 H.P. compound engine made in the Engineering Department for its own use, on the back of an open horse-drawn cart (Archive ref: BTC 2/5/8)
The College was created to meet the training needs of Bradford’s textile industries in the mid-19th century. The first building of the Technical School was opened in 1882. Transferred to local Council control in 1899, the College grew and developed to supply high-level technological expertise nationally and internationally. A long-running campaign for University status paid off when the higher education side became Bradford Institute of Technology (a College of Advanced Technology) in 1957: this later became the University of Bradford.
The surviving records of the College tell its story and introduce us to many interesting people. Photographs illustrate its buildings, we see the activities and works of its staff and students, who received prizes, and the impact of war and changing society on the institution. We have enriched the original typescript 1970s finding aid for online publication, for instance by indexing many names. Revisiting the archive in this way has shown us how much the College was part of the city. There is so much still to discover.
Dr Munro Price, of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, has published a book which explores the downfall of Napoleon. Napoleon: the end of glory. Oxford University Press, 2014. Using a remarkable range of under-explored European archive sources, Dr Price shows us how and why Napoleon failed to compromise with his enemies in the period immediately before his first exile. Contrary to popular belief, Waterloo was just a postscript to a career that had already failed. I won’t summarise all Dr Price’s arguments: you need to read the book for those & it well repays a read.
Beautifully produced and very well priced for an academic work, this book would make a lovely Christmas gift for anyone interested in military history, politics or reconciliation/peace studies …
J.B. Priestley, like many of his Great War veteran contemporaries, was a time-haunted man. He was intrigued by the work of J.W. Dunne, not only to provide plots and ideas for his plays, but because he sought answers to deep questions about time and the meaning of life. You can hear more about Dunne and Priestley and time in I Have Been Here Before, a recent BBC Radio 3 documentary.
The broadcast highlights an extraordinary part of the J.B. Priestley Archive here at Bradford. Lecturer and author Katy Price discusses the “Time” letters written to Priestley by members of the public in response to his interest in precognition, dreams and other time-related phenomena. The letters show how people trusted Priestley, pouring out experiences and thoughts they had never shared with anyone else.
Further reading: Dr Price recently published an academic article which uses the evidence in the letters to explore mid-20th century mentalities and psychiatric experiences: Testimonies of precognition and encounters with psychiatry in letters to J. B. Priestley.