|Description||These papers comprise printed material produced by the Guild of Students for students to provide information about the Guild and its functions and activities. They comprise large, incomplete sequences of constitutions, annual reports, and student handbooks, and also smaller sequences of alternative prospectuses, freshmen's conference handbooks, and guild diaries. The section includes some more occasional publications including reports, histories and appeal booklets, and elections material. The period covered by the papers as a whole is wide, but coverage varies considerably within sequences. |
There is little in this section from the early period of the Guild's existence apart from copies of student handbooks from the late 1890s and early 1900s, Guild Diaries from 1909, and copies of undergraduate songs from around 1914. Similarly there is little material dating from the 1920s apart from Guild Diaries and copies of Annual Reports. There are good holdings for the 1930s and the Guild Diaries and Annual Reports continued to be produced for much of the Second World War period. Coverage is greatest for the post-war period from the 1950s to the 1980s, and the records are a rich source of information for student life at Birmingham during this period, particularly for evidence about the facilities and services provided by the Guild, for entertainments and the development of a growing range of student societies and welfare groups for which little evidence survives elsewhere. The establishment of societies for international students from different countries, for women students and gay and lesbian students, and for activities including yoga and transcendental meditation, lifestyle choices like vegetarianism, and awareness of issues including feminism, animal rights, nuclear proliferation and the anti-apartheid struggle reflects societal and cultural changes taking place at the time.
There is less material for the 1990s, but student handbooks and copies of the alternative prospectus contain useful information. The only records for the 2000s are membership handbooks dating from 2007 and 2008. These are much less detailed than those of previous decades, perhaps because of the development of a web presence for the Guild of Students and its activities. The only record for the 2010s is a copy of the 2018 Student Voice report