Homerton College Records - Students

Scope and Content

Large collection of records and photographs relating to student life at Homerton including: memories of Kay Melzi, Head of Art 1938-1970; audio cassette of interview with Edith Lock, nee Bailey who attended Homerton 1915-1917; documents relating to establishment of Cambridge BEd degree 1969-1971; file of material relating to teaching career of Edith Hilda Watker, attended Homerton 1913-1915; material from Rhona Whyte who attended Homerton 1935-1937 mainly related to Homerton Association; memorabilia of Grace Dibble including album of photographs 1922-1925; photocopied extracts from memoirs of Arbel Aldous, Homerton 1906-1908; photograph album belonging to Catherine Williams Beer, nee Evans 1931-1933; photographs belonging to Edith Thompson, nee Gatley 1923-1925; correspondence and photograph relating to the award of the Queen's Certificate and Medal of Honour to Dulcie Roe, Homerton 1935-1938 for services to education in Bermuda; collection of newscuttings and posters relating to student rent strike 1989; collection of memorabilia from Lydia Ellidge, nee Penman, Homerton 1930-1932; college scrapbook 1945-1947; memoirs of life at Homerton by P M Hensher, Homerton 1927-1929; interview questionnaires for past students; medical officers' reports and meal plans for college 1903-1925; minute and record book of the Homerton Union of Students founded 1940, 1940-1954; papers on student lodgings and notes on interviews with students who were at Homerton 1949-1951.

Administrative / Biographical History

Homerton College was founded in 1695. It was one of several academies training ministers for nonconformist churches, at a time when the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge would accept only members of the Church of England. From 1768 several of these academies merged into new premises at Homerton Academy, Middlesex, then a convenient distance from London. The name of Homerton College was used from 1823. The specialised function of the college changed after 1836 when it was possible for nonconformists to sit degree examinations in the newly founded University of London. The London Congregationalists found a new purpose for Homerton College as a centre for teacher training for both men and women. It was Samuel Morely, a Victorian philanthropist who was instrumental in the establishment of Homerton as an independent college for the training of teachers. The surroundings of the College at Homerton, once a prosperous suburb of London, deteriorated towards the end of the nineteenth century. A new location was sought and found in the buildings of Cavendish College, Cambridge. The high Victorian Gothic buildings of the College date from 1876. Between 1896 and 1970 Homerton admitted only women students. Under the dynamic leadership of Mary Allan, its first woman Principal, Homerton gathered its reputation for academic and professional excellence. With the introduction of a three year teacher training course in 1960, Homerton expanded rapidly, with student numbers rising from 300 in 1960, to 540 in 1968. Dame Beryl Paston Brown, a graduate of Newnham College, Cambridge, presided over a major building programme in the early 1960s which included a new library and dining hall. In 1976 Homerton was recognised as an Approved Society by the University of Cambridge. 1976 also saw the establishment of a four year Bachelor of Education honours degree, designed as a professional teacher training course. In the 1970s Homerton began admitting men as well as women to its postgraduate and undergraduate courses. August 2001 saw Homerton changing its legal and institutional status from a free standing Higher Education Institute to one moving forward to full membership of Cambridge University collegiate structure and, in that sense becoming a 'traditional college' within the Cambridge structure.

Access Information

Access by arrangement with the librarian

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued on Heritage IV available in the College Library

Archivist's Note

Description by Catherine Burke, Genesis Project Officer, 7 Feb 2002, amendments from Geoff Mizen, Homerton College. Submitted to the Archives Hub as part of Genesis 2009 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying regulations available upon application


'Homerton 1894-1994, One Hundred Years in Cambridge' Elizabeth Edwards (editor) and Peter Warner, Black Bear Press, Cambridge, 1994.

Geographical Names