Prospectuses, De Montfort University and predecessors

Scope and Content

Series of prospectuses for De Montfort University and its predecessors the Leicester Municipal Technical and Art School, the Leicester Colleges of Art and Technology and the Leicester Polytechnic. While there are some gaps, most notably for the earliest years of the Leicester School of Art and in the 1940s, the series is almost complete and as such is an excellent record of the history of the University, including changes of institutional name, mergers and expansions. The information provided in each prospectus varies, but always includes information about courses of study offered by the institution. Other information which may be provided includes lists of staff and governors, timetables, general administrative information, background information about the institution, maps of the campus and buildings, photographs of the campus, classes and student activities, information about life at the institution and in Leicester, information on student welfare and factual profiles of the institution.

The prospectuses also present an overview of printing design and marketing techniques through the twentieth century. Some of the earlier prospectuses (1920s and 1930s) use student designed covers and maps, while others appear to have been bound in-house and feature attractive end-papers.

Administrative / Biographical History

A public meeting was held on 14th October 1869 attended by Leicester citizens disposed to encourage the foundation of a school of art. Following on from the success of that meeting, subscriptions were asked for which enabled the committee to secure premises in Pocklington’s Walk. Classes met there for the first time on 1st March 1870. From 1882 technical classes were also held with the aim of preparing skilled workers for local industry.

In 1897 the School was taken over by the Town Council of the County Borough of Leicester and renamed the Leicester Municipal Technical and Art School. A new building (now known as the Hawthorn Building) was constructed allowing the art and technical classes to be brought together for the first time. On the technical side classes included boot and shoe manufacture, engineering, plumbing, painting and building trades, and textiles; while on the art side design and modelling, life classes and anatomy, still life, geometry and perspective, architecture, book binding and embroidery were offered.

The School went through various changes of name. In 1919 it was restructured into two separate departments, called the City of Leicester School of Arts and Crafts and the City of Leicester Technical School. In 1925 this was changed to City of Leicester College of Arts and Crafts and City of Leicester College of Technology, and brought back together in 1929 to form the Leicester Colleges of Art and Technology.

In 1969 the Colleges formally amalgamated to form the City of Leicester Polytechnic. In 1975 this merged with the Leicester College of Education and was known as the Leicester Polytechnic. In 1992 the institution was awarded university status and changed its name to De Montfort University. In the same year the University opened a campus in Milton Keynes.

In 1994 and 1995 the University expanded further, merging with Lincolnshire College of Art and Design, Lincolnshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture, Bedford College of Higher Education and Charles Frears College of Nursing and Midwifery. In 2001 the Lincoln campus was transferred to the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside, while in 2003 and 2006 the Milton Keynes and Bedford campuses were sold.


Arranged in chronological order.

Access Information

Available for general access. External researchers are advised to contact the Archivist to make an appointment.

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Katharine Short, Archivist, August 2013.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is permitted for private research purposes only, dependent on the condition of the original.