North Western Polytechnic (1929-1971)

Scope and Content

Records of North Western Polytechnic, London, comprising (but not limited to):

  • Governance papers
  • Annual reports of the Principal
  • Ceremonial
  • Prospectuses
  • (Limited) student records*
  • Photographs
  • Silverware
  • Visitors' book

* Requests involving personal data will be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and on a case-by-case basis.

Administrative / Biographical History

The North Western Polytechnic (NWP) opened on Prince of Wales Road in Kentish Town, London, in 1929. It had more than 2,200 students, engaged mainly in evening classes, and an academic staff of 150, concentrating on social sciences, humanities and the arts.

It was the last of the technical institutes of London to be inaugurated. Although the erection of such an institute within the parish of St. Pancras had been planned since 1892 (and its Board of Governors met regularly from that date), and contributions from individual donors had been received, the project was delayed for lack of funds. A valuable site in Kentish Town was acquired but further postponement was forced by the First World War and it was not until 1927 that the building was erected and the Polytechnic was officially opened in 1929 by HRH The Prince of Wales. By 1967 the NWP was the largest polytechnic in London.

On 26 January 1971, as more polytechnics were designated, it was decided that the Northern and North Western polytechnics should merge to form the Polytechnic of North London (PNL). The building on Prince of Wales Road continued to form part of the PNL (later University of North London and London Metropolitan University) estate until the mid-1990s when it was sold for development into residential flats.

Conditions Governing Access

All enquiries should be made to the Special Collections project team

Acquisition Information

Prior to 2014 and the commencement of London Metropolitan University Archives Project, all material relating to the North Western Polytechnic was stored, uncatalogued, within the University's building on Holloway Road, London, N7 8DB.