University of Wales, Aberystwyth Guild of Students Archive

Scope and Content

The archive contains papers relating to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth Guild of Students' financial committees; sub-unions; sports teams; clubs; shops; Rag and student newspaper, The Courier.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Aberystwyth Student Representative Council, forerunner to the Students' Union, was established in 1900, mainly through the efforts of two students, H J Fleure and J P Millington. Democratically elected, the SRC based itself in the common room in the basement of the Old College. It oversaw the production of the student magazine The Dragon, and later its successor, The Courier, and became increasingly militant during its early years. Although reprimanded for such actions, the SRC maintained its interest in the activities and policies of the College, and in 1966 student representation on various college committees was introduced, increasing student involvement in college administration.

In 1923, the Old Students' Association devoted the funds it had raised to mark the College jubilee towards the purchase of the Aberystwyth Assembly Rooms as a new Students' Union. An adjacent house was purchased during the 1950s, forming an annexe to accommodate increasing numbers of students, and in 1970 the first wing of the new Student Union building on the Penglais campus was opened. Sports and social societies flourished at Aberystwyth. The Literary and Debating Society, Celtic Society and Political Union were particularly active, as was Rag, raising thousands of pounds towards charitable causes.

Today, the Students' Union at Aberystwyth, or the Guild of Students, is a member of the National Union of Students (NUS), and of NUS Wales. It has six full time sabbatical officers, and various other non-sabbatical officers. It also employs a staff of full and part time workers, both students and non-students. It has a detailed constitution, along with a policy formulated by a steering committee, and passed by the students. It is involved in various campaigns, including a campaign to improve student funding, and annually elects an ethnic minorities officer, women's officer, along other representatives, to ensure that equal opportunities for all students are maintained. The Guild of Students is also responsible for Rag, The Courier and its Welsh language equivalent Yr Utgorn, UMCA (Welsh-Speaking Students' Union), the Board of Clubs and Societies (BOCS) and the Athletics Union (formerly the Central Athletics Board).

Access Information

The papers may be consulted through application by e-mail to: or by post to: Aberystwyth University, Archives, Information Services, Llandinam Building, Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DB. Tel: 01970 628593.


Description compiled by Rhian Phillips, Archives Hub project archivist, with reference to E L Ellis, The University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1872-1972, (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1972), and

Other Finding Aids

Basic finding aid available on request from Archives staff.

Related Material

Further papers relating to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth Guild of Students can be found in the University of Wales, Aberystwyth Institutional Archive.