Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)UB/VP
TitleRecords of University of Birmingham Vice Principal
Extent2 volumes and 1 file
DescriptionIncomplete set of records consisting of two volumes of letterbooks and other administrative papers and correspondence of the Vice-Principal, all generated by William Ashley during his term in the post. Although Ashley held the post between 1918 and 1925, the records described here only cover the period from September 1918 to February 1921, though it is assumed that the letterbook sequence continued after that date. Records relating to the duties and activities of the Vice-Principal between 1900 and 1918, when the joint office of Vice-Principal and Registrar was held by Robert Heath, can be found in the sequence of letterbooks and correspondence described at UB/R. There are no other surviving records of the functions and activities specifically dealt with by this post-holder, despite the post of Vice-Principal continuing as a major administrative position within the University of Birmingham combined with the title Pro-Vice Chancellor from the early 1960s.

The letterbooks contain copies of correspondence written by Ashley, largely relating to his duties and activities as Vice-Principal but also containing some correspondence relating to his other roles within the University at this time, including Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, and Professor of Commerce, as well as a sequence of correspondence and papers relating to his work to compile a report on the war work carried out by members of University of Birmingham staff during the First World War
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistoryThe post of Vice-Principal at the University of Birmingham was first held by Robert Heath, who had been Principal of Mason Science College but who was made Vice-Princpal and Registrar on the appointment of Oliver Lodge as first Principal of the new University in 1900. Heath held both these positions concurrently until his retirement in 1918, when William Ashley was appointed Vice-Principal, and a full-time Registrar was appointed in 1919. According to a copy of a letter from Ashley to the Vice-Chancellor, Gilbert Barling, dated March 1919 (see UB/VP/1/1), the Principal undertook the daily duties of the chief Administrative Officer of the University in academic matters and the Vice-Principal acted, in effect, as administrative officer for the more responsible part of the University's daily business in relation to academic policy and practice, and acted on behalf of the Principal during absence or inability. William Ashley resigned from the post of Vice-Principal in 1925 and the office was held by Professor F. W. Burstall from 1925 to 1931, Professor Ernest De Selincourt from 1931 to 1935, Professor J. G. Smith from 1935 to 1948, Professor Mark Oliphant from 1948 to 1949, Professor H. F. Humphreys from 1949 to 1952, Professor A. P. Thomson from 1952 to 1957, Rev. Professor G. W. H. Lampe from 1957 to 1960, and Professor K. Mather from 1960 to 1962. When Professor F. W. Shotton was appointed to the office in 1963, the title was changed to 'Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Principal'
Custodial HistoryThese records were transferred to the Special Collections department in the mid 1960s where they formed part of the 'University Collection'
Archival NoteCatalogued by Helen Fisher, September 2016. Prepared in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
Related MaterialRecords of the Vice-Principal for the period 1900 to 1918 are catalogued with records of the Registrar, UB/R


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