Salvation Army UK Territorial Departments: William Booth College

Scope and Content

These are the papers of William Booth College, 1883-2012.

The training of Salvation Army Officers began in 1879, but was based in various locations and training homes, and known under varying names. It became established in Denmark Hill in 1929, and (as of 2013) is still at this location. It was known as the William Booth Memorial Training College, but as of 2000, is known as William Booth College.

This collection is the complete records of all Salvation Army training from 1879, with the first records here dated from 1883 until the present day. As training before 1929 was not centralised and under different names, it has been regarded for the purposes of this catalogue that these are still 'William Booth College' records under a different name.

Due to the original order and context of the collection not surviving, the records have been arranged in a logical structure and not one which relays the original functions/departments of the college.

The arrangement of the records is as follows:

WBC/1: Records of the administration of the college.

WBC/2: Records relating to cadets (individuals training at the college to become officers).

WBC/3: Records relating to the staff of William Booth College.

WBC/4: Records relating to College premises.

WBC/5: Records relating to the financial administration of the College.

WBC/6: Photographs of Cadets, Officers and College buildings.

WBC/7: Records of the School for In-Service Training and Development (SISTAD)

Administrative / Biographical History

The training of men officers began experimentally in Manchester under Ballington Booth in 1879, and in the following year started on a regular basis in two small Training Homes in Hackney: for women, at Gore Road, and for men, at Devonshire House, Mare Street. In November 1881, the former London Orphan Asylum, Clapton was acquired for use as the National Training Barracks and Congress Hall. This served as the principal centre for training officers until the new William Booth Memorial Training College was opened at Denmark Hill in 1929, though during the late 1880s and 1890s, some of the training of cadets took place in regional depots or garrisons, in addition to training at Clapton. The training centres were known at various times as the Training Home, Training Garrison, or Training College, and by 1904 the centre at Clapton had become the International Training College, though later it was known as the International Training Garrison (c1917-1929). For a few years in the early 1920s additional accommodation at the Mildmay Conference Centre was used for men cadets. At Denmark Hill, the college was generally known as the International Training College (ITC), or the William Booth Memorial Training College until 2000, when the name was changed to the William Booth College.

Access Information

This collection is partially available for research. Some files, particularly those relating to Cadets and Officers, are closed under the Data Protection Act. Please enquire for details. Open files can be viewed in the reading room of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre, open Tue-Fri 9.30-4.00. It is advisable to make an appointment. Tel: 0207 326 7800; email: