Governance of the Architectural Association, 1851-2006

Scope and Content

Comprises of records detailing the governance of the Architectural Association Inc (AA), 1851-2005. Includes minutes and agendas of General Meetings of the AA, 1851-1977; minutes, calling notices and agendas for meetings of the AA's governing body, 1851-2005. Also includes minutes and agendas for meetings of AA sub-committees: sub-committees related to financial governance of the AA, 1901-1996; sub-committees related to governance of the AA's premises, 1895-1968; sub-committees related to governance of the AA School, 1863-1969; AA Jubilee Sub-Committee, 1896-1898; By-Laws Sub-Committee, 1908-10; House Committee, 1906-68; General Purposes Sub-Committee, 1919-1971; AA Publications sub-committees, 1886-1963; Library Sub-Committee, 1883-1969; AA Prize Sub-Committee, 1887-1911; Entertainments Sub-Committee, Conversazione Committee, Dinner Committee, 1896-1915; Summer Visits Sub-Committee, 1895-1914; Appeal for Funds Sub-Committee, 1892; Active Service Sub-Committee, 1914-15; Architects Volunteer Training Corp Orders Book, 1914-15; Building Materials Bureau Sub-Committee, 1929-30; Scholarships Committees, 1932-69; Sub-Committee for Exhibition of Students Work at Building Centre, 1934; War Groups Committee, 1939-40; Centenary General Committee, 1946-48; Council / Staff / Student Committee, 1952-53; Study Groups Committee, 1958-59; Executive Committee, 1961-70; Independance Working Party, 1970.

Administrative / Biographical History

The earliest extant document detailing the administration and governance of the Architectural Association is a set of Rules of the Association, dated 1851. These were superseded in 1877 by a more comprehensive set of Rules, which were subsequently replaced by a Constitution and By-Laws adopted in 1890/91. The AA was certified an Incorporated Company in November 1920, with corresponding changes to the Constitution being carried out. Subsequent major changes to the AA's governance over the following decades include the abolishment of the student vote in January 1939, its re-introduction in 1970 and more recent amendments to the Constitution in 2009 to bring it into line with the 2006 Companies' Act. From 9 September 1963 the AA has been governed constitutionally as a charitable company, meaning that it is both a Registered Charity as well as a Company Limited by Guarantee.General Meetings of the Membership of the AA are currently held a minimum of once a year, the first such meeting of each annual session being the Annual General Meeting at which a statement of the audited accounts is laid before members. The AA Council acts as the governing body, with Council Members acting as trustees of the charity and directors of the company. Council Members are elected annually, in May or June, by subscribing AA members and currently consist of twelve Ordinary Members of Council, together with the offices of President, immediate Past President, two Vice Presidents, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. The Council has the power to appoint additional Honorary Officers and establish sub committees, with the overall duty of conducting the affairs of the Association and its School and presenting an annual report to Members. Sub-committees appear to have first been used in a significant manner from 1868, when the Library, AA Journal, Prizes, Ordinary Meetings, Visits and Entertainments sub-committees were created. By 1901, when the AA Day School was established, committees representing these core functions had been supplemented by an Education Sub-Committee (1895), a Premises sub-Committee (1892) and a Finances Sub-Committee (1900). Committees dealing with these principal areas of governance have undergone various iterations and name changes over the Twentieth Century and a significant number of important, short-lived sub-committees have been established to deal with specific circumstances. In 2011, sub-committees reporting to Council currently consist of a General Purposes Committee, a Finance Committee and a Building Committee.


Arranged into twenty seven sub-series reflecting the governance of the Architectural Association by its committees and sub-committees.


New accruals expected