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Title Archives of University College London
Date1 1814-
StorageSite UCL Special Collections
Level Collection
Extent 805 boxes, 1123 volumes, 1130 files, 25 bundles, 81 items, 2 card indexes, 1 plan chest and 5 linear metres
CreatorName University of London | 1826-1836 | renamed University College, London
University College London

University College London (UCL) was founded as the University of London on 11 February 1826. It offered an affordable university education to the 'sons of the middling rich', and for the first time to those who were excluded from Oxford and Cambridge by those institutions' religious tests. It also provided a broader curriculum than that of the ancient universities, with the first chairs in England in English, German, Hebrew, geology and physiology.

UCL's founders were mostly radicals and liberals. The instigator was the poet Thomas Campbell, inspired by his experience of universities in Scotland and Germany, who worked with Henry Brougham, the most prominent lawyer of the time (and later Lord Chancellor) to bring together the group of men who would form the first Council. Members of that first Council included George Birkbeck, James Mill, Zachary Macaulay, and Lord John Russell.

UCL was set up as a joint stock company, as a Royal Charter was initially refused. Academic sessions started in October 1828. It was renamed University College, London, and received its Royal Charter, on 28 November 1836. On the same day, a new University of London was established with the power to award degrees in medicine, arts and laws to students from both UCL and King's College London. University College School was founded and opened in 1830. University College Hospital, so named from 1837, was founded as the North London Hospital in 1834.

In 1869 the first series of 'lectures for ladies' was given at UCL, under the auspices of the London Ladies' Educational Association. The first mixed classes for men and women were held in 1871. In October 1871 the Slade School of Fine Art was opened in the newly-built north wing of the University. Women were admitted for the first time as full degree students to the Faculties of Science and of Arts and Laws in 1878, and to the Faculties of Engineering and of Medicine in 1917.

UCL was incorporated in 1907 into the University of London, parting company with University College Hospital and University College School. In 1978 a new Royal Charter restored UCL's legal independence from the University of London. In 1986 the Institute of Archaeology was incorporated into UCL. The School of Slavonic and East European Studies merged with UCL in 1999.

CustodialHistory Produced and accumulated by University College London during the course of its business
Description Archives of University College London, 1824-2000, comprising College Council and Committee records, 1825-2000 (Ref: UCLCA/CC); records of the Managing Committee and its predecessors, 1831-1968 (Ref: UCLCA/CM); Senate, Professorial and Academic Board records, 1826-2000 (Ref: UCLCA/ACAD); general administration papers, 1824-2000 (Ref: UCLCA/ADMIN); legal records [1824]-1993 (Ref: UCLCA/LEG); financial records, 1825-1939 (Ref: UCLCA/FIN); estates records, 1825-2000 (Ref: UCLCA/EST); personnel records, 1826-2000 (Ref: UCLCA/PERS); departmental records, 1827-[1986] (Ref: UCLCA/DEP), including the Institute of Archaeology, 1884-1998 (Ref: UCLCA/IA), Petrie Museum, 1814-1992 (Ref: UCLCA/PETMUS/WFP1-2), and Slade School of Fine Art, 1868-1996 (Ref: UCLCA/SS); student administration records, 1828-2000 (Ref: UCLCA/SA); student bodies records, 1833-1992 (Ref: UCLCA/SB); University College School records, 1829-1905 (Ref: UCLCA/UCS); printed matter, including annual reports, College calendars, and other College publications; illustrative and audio-visual material, including photographs, portraits, newscuttings and film footage.
Repository GB 0103
AccessStatus Certain restrictions apply
AccessConditions The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.
ReproductionConditions Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.
CatalogueStatus Uncatalogued
Arrangement By administrative function
RelatedMaterial Records of University College London Medical Bodies, comprising the Hospital (Ref: UCL/MED/UCH), Medical School (Ref: UCL/MED/HMS) and Dental School (Ref: UCL/MED/HDS), are also held. The School of Slavonic and East European Studies retains its own records, and also holds deposited collections in its Library, which are described on its website: http://www.ssees.ac.uk/archives/newarchi.htm.

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