Morley College

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 88 IV/224
  • Dates of Creation
      1888 - 2013
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      29 boxes and 2 volumes

Scope and Content

Records relating to Morley College including constitutions, reports, minutes, finance, college prospectus and magazines, photographs, cuttings and material relating to Morley history and personalities including founder Emma Cons, and former directors of music: Gustav Holst (1907-1924) and Sir. Michael Kemp Tippett (1940-1951). The collection also contains material relating to the 'Friends of Morley College' and 'The Morley Gallery'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Morley College originated in the work of the Coffee Music Halls Company Ltd. who promoted temperance and the arts in London. The college was established by Emma Cons, a visionary and social reformer who fought to improve standards of London's Waterloo district.

In 1880, Cons, with the support of the Coffee Music Halls Company Ltd. leased what is now known as the 'Old Vic' theatre and created the Royal Victoria Coffee and Music Hall.

In 1882 the hall began to host weekly lectures in which eminent scientists would address the public on a wide range of topics. The success of these lectures led to the establishment of Morley Memorial College for working men and women, named after Samuel Morley, a textile manufacturer, MP and philanthropist who contributed to Morley College.

In the 1920s the college moved to Westminster Bridge Road where it remains today although it has since expanded and now includes Morley Gallery and Arts Studio and the Nancy Sear Building.

The college has attracted eminent staff including composer Gustav Holst, Director of Music 1907-1924, a post later filled by Sir Michael Kemp Tippet, 1940-1951. Other high profile personalities associated with the college include composer Ralph Vaughn Williams, writer Virginia Woolf and artist David Hockney.


IV/244/1 Constitutions, Reports and Minutes
IV/244/2 Administration
IV/244/3 Publications
IV/244/4 Collections (cuttings books, photographs, topic files, correspondence, Michael Tippett)
IV/244/5 Miscellaneous
IV/244/6 Friends of Morley College
IV/244/7 The Morley Gallery

Access Information

No restrictions on access

Acquisition Information

Collection acquired by Lambeth Archives between 1999-2007 as a gift. Acquisition numbers: 1999/11, 2002/30, 2003/13, 2006/11, 2007/23; ARC/2013/6,8

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at Lambeth Archives.

Corporate Names