We’re accredited!

Thrilled to announce that Special Collections at the University of Bradford has achieved Archive Accreditation!  We are the first English university to reach this new standard.  I’ll be writing about what this honour means for our collections and our users soon.

100. Brains for Industry: Dr Richardson’s Campaign for Technological Universities

Originally posted on 100 Objects:

In 1943, Dr Harry Richardson, Principal of the Bradford Technical College, sensed an opportunity.  Since his appointment as Principal in 1920, Dr Richardson had persisted with the ongoing quest for university status for the College (see Object 49).  However, by 1930, complete discouragement meant he had put the matter aside to await fresh developments.

Dr Harry Richardson with students at Bradford Technical College, from Frank Hill's Lecture on “Careers in the Wool Industry” 1955 (Univ/HIL)

Dr Harry Richardson with students at Bradford Technical College, from Frank Hill’s Lecture on “Careers in the Wool Industry” 1955 (Univ/HIL)

In 1943, the British government was thinking about plans for improving society once the Second World War was over.  Education was key.  The progress of the War had highlighted the need for “brains for industry”: a skilled and well educated workforce who could create and manage new technologies.  This could not be supplied by the existing ramshackle educational system, which was radically overhauled in the resulting legislation, the Education Act of 1944.

Technical…

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99. Man – A Million Years Old? Minute-books of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia

Originally posted on 100 Objects:

In 1908 this circular was sent out to over 100 people in East Anglia inviting them to join an “East Anglian Society of Prehistorians”. The Hon Secretaries pro tem (W.A. Dutt and W.G. Clarke) had had the idea three years earlier, while flint-hunting in Thetford, but had decided to wait until they felt there was sufficient enthusiasm to sustain a Society.

Circular advertising the proposed East Anglian Society of Prehistorians, 1908.  From the Prehistoric Society minute-books (ref PRE 1).

Circular advertising the proposed East Anglian Society of Prehistorians, 1908. From the Prehistoric Society minute-books (ref PRE 1).

Their timing was right.  After the inaugural meeting, at the Norfolk and Norwich Library on 26 October 1908,  over seventy members signed up, paying a subscription of 1/6.

East Anglia was the ideal place for the Society to begin.   The region is rich in flint, which occurs in bands in chalk, and was used by early humans for tool-making.  The people who joined the Society, like Dutt and Clarke, were driven…

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The Actual and the Real

The Actual and the Real is a conference exploring J.B. Priestley’s English Journey and its connections to the documentary movement and other literary and political threads of the 30s and 40s.  It takes place in Leeds on 25 October 2014.  Find out more on the Conference website, including details of the Call for Papers which ends on 14 June.

Rediscovered: J.B. Priestley in the Yorkshire Post

Last weekend the Yorkshire Post published a really interesting piece about J.B. Priestley’s First World War experiences.  The article, by Steve McClarence, uses objects from Priestley’s Archive to tell the story: his shoulder-badge, his photographs, his letters, and above all Priestley’s unforgettable writings about the War in Margin Released and English Journey.  You can see the archive objects for yourself in our current exhibition at the Bradford Industrial Museum.

 

 

Work with us! Archivist for the New Atlantis Archive project

We’re advertising for a new colleague to join the Special Collections team: an Archivist to catalogue the Mitrinovic/New Atlantis Archive.

Mitrinovic and his circle

Mitrinovic (in the centre) and his group of followers

The Archive tells the story of an extraordinary man whose life and ideas are intertwined with so many others in early 20th century art, literature, politics and culture. It shows how he built a circle of followers who shared his aspirations towards a better and peaceful Europe.    We are thrilled that we will soon be able to make this important collection publicly available.

The post is part time, pro rata, for 16 months, and the key dates are 12 May (closing date) and 3 June for interviews.  Note that the post requires a qualified professional archivist with relevant skills and experience.  I welcome informal enquiries about the post by email.

JB Priestley: soldier, writer, painter …

J.B. Priestley: Soldier, Writer, Painter.
Curated by the J.B. Priestley Society
Bradford Industrial Museum. 

19 April – 17 August 2014

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This summer we bring a unique opportunity to see some different sides to  J.B. Priestley.   You knew he was a writer (we hope).  He was also a …

Soldier …
Aged just 19, “Jack” Priestley joined the British Army in September 1914.  The next five years changed his life forever and that of his home city of Bradford.  The Industrial Museum has a major exhibition about Bradford’s Home Front which our display complements.  We are showing Jack’s letters home and the photographs and memorabilia that travelled with him for the next 50 years.  He used them for inspiration when he drew together his experiences in the dream-like tour de force that is the middle section of his 1962 memoir Margin Released.

Painter …
JB loved art and later in life took up painting as an enjoyable hobby.  The J.B. Priestley Society have assembled 30 of his works for this show.   These intriguing survivals  illustrate the love of landscape that makes so many of his books unforgettable , his understanding of art, and his extensive travels.   A few are still for sale, if you would like a unique bit of Priestleiana in your life.

The exhibition is free and open to all.  You can find out more about opening times etc. on the Museum’s website.