The Bradford Technical College Archive

Scope and Content

Annual reports 1883-1903, calendars, prospectuses, prize lists; Correspondence and press cuttings on university and technical education; Staff Association minutes 1903-1935. Staff publications and lectures; Associateship dissertations 1907-1928; Bradford City Council Education Committee, epitome of minutes 1904-1919; Photographs and ephemera.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bradford Mechanics Institute was founded in 1832, acquired a School of Design in 1848, a School of Building in 1867, and a Weaving School (Bradford Technical School) in 1878. The first building for the new Bradford Technical School was opened in 1882. Four departments were established: Textiles, Art and Design, Engineering, and Chemistry and Dyeing. Shortly after the School opened it was re-named Bradford Technical College. In 1899 control of the College passed from the committee set up by its founders to Bradford Corporation: at this point there were 143 full-time day students and 623 regular evening students. A new textile block, a students' union and a picture gallery were all added in the years before the First World War. In 1904 the Art Department was re-constituted as a separate School of Art. Harry Richardson, a physicist, was appointed Principal in 1920; he campaigned for university status for Bradford until his retirement in 1956. By 1930 there were Departments of Textiles, Chemistry, Dyeing, Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Commerce and Banking, Pharmacy and Biology, Physics and Mathematics. To cope with the expansion further buildings were added in Carlton Street and Great Horton Road. In 1957, following a government paper on technological education, Bradford Technical College became one of the country's first Colleges of Advanced Technology. A year later this split into the Bradford Institute of Technology - which went on to become the University of Bradford - and the Bradford Technical College.


Arranged under numbered subject headings, with the prefix C.

Access Information

Available to researchers, by appointment

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the University of Bradford in 1966 as the body succeeding the Bradford Institute of Technology.


In English

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of Special Collections staff, subject to copyright law and the condition of the originals. Applications for permission to make published use of any material should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian in the first instance. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Custodial History

With the split in 1958 between the Bradford Technical College and the Bradford Institute of Technology, the archives of the Technical College were divided between them; the material had not been kept as a single collection, and appears to have been divided according to previous location rather than subject or date.

Related Material

A collection of archives of Bradford Technical College is held by Bradford College. The University Library also holds archives of the bodies that succeeded the Technical College: the Bradford Institute of Technology (1957-1966) and the University of Bradford (1966-).


McKinlay, Robert A.: The University of Bradford, origins and development (Bradford : Bradford University Press, 1991)

Personal Names