Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)UB/HUH/A
TitleRecords of University House
Extent23 standard boxes; 1 large box; 2 outsize boxes
DescriptionRecords of University House, a hall of residence established for women students at the University of Birmingham and initially also open to other women students studying or teaching in Birmingham, but which became the University's first mixed hall of residence in 1964, consisting of minutes of governing bodies and student committees; administrative papers; financial records; correspondence files and associated papers of the Wardens of University House; property records relating to the lease of land and buildings used by the hall of residence; promotional records; log books; student lists; photographs; papers relating to the history of University House; and ephemera.

The most complete record sequences are the committee minutes documenting the governance and administration of the hall of residence, which cover the entire period of the institution's existence to 2002. Records of the student Junior Common Room Committee are incomplete and only cover the period to the mid 1970s, but records of sub-committees provide some evidence for student involvement in the governance of University House after this date. There are also some early reports and papers of committees set up to investigate support for a hall of residence and to canvass funds, beginning in 1902. The series of Wardens papers complement the committee minutes in providing additional information about the management of the hall of residence from 1904 to the end of Julia Friend's Wardenship in 1968. There is also some coverage of the 1980s and early to mid 1990s in papers of Wardens David Bedford and Tony Manchester, but there are few records for the 1970s or the mid 1990s onwards.
There are comprehensive financial records only for the period to 1945. After this date the only surviving sequences document expenditure. There is a sequence of log books only for the period 1993 to 2002, and these were kept to record incidents mostly relating to safety and security, and to student discipline. Two separate log books also survive, covering the period 1915 to 1918 and recording term time activities at University House, and an air raid log book covering the period 1940 to 1945. The only lists of students for the period from the mid 1960s onwards are those which record names of students leaving University House, and these cease in 1998. There are no student photographs for the 1920s to the mid 1940s, or for the period from the mid 1960s onwards apart from a small number dating from the late 1980s.

Although some record series are incomplete, and other sequences are probably missing, the surviving records make up a valuable resource for the study of the management and operation of the University of Birmingham's first hall of residence for women students, and its first purpose-built student accommodation, from the start of the campaign by women associated with the University or interested in women's education to provide residential accommodation for women students in the city, through the early years of its existence as a women's hall of residence and the development of the student community, including evidence about the impact of the First World War and Second World War on life for residents, to the transition to a mixed hall of residence in 1964 and changes in the constitution and management structure of the hall which brought it under the direct control of the University administration and meant that it operated in the same way as the University's other halls of residence until its closure in 2002.

The records are also a rich resource for the study of student life and experience at the University of Birmingham, in particular for women students studying for degrees or teaching qualifications during the early years of the twentieth century and, to a lesser extent, for women members of staff at the institution, including influential individuals Margery Fry, Helen Wodehouse, Rose Sidgwick, and Beatrice Orange. The residents registers and student lists contain much useful information about these early residents, and are complemented by early committee minutes, programmes for dramatic performances, and photographs. It is possible to construct a similarly detailed overview for the 1920s and 1930s through study of the committee minutes and student registers, and additional evidence survives for the 1940s in the air raid log book, Wardens papers, and ephemeral material which all provide detailed information about the effects of the Second World War on the university experiences of residents. Although the records are less detailed for the post 1945 period, they still provide useful information about student life at University House during the 1950s and early 1960s, including the initial impact of the hall becoming mixed accommodation for both women and men students, and about life from the 1980s to 2002, though this is largely seen through records of the Warden and hall management rather than through records generated by students themselves
Access StatusOpen