Northampton College of Technology

Scope and Content

The collection contains general prospectuses from 1895-1945 and 1950-1974, as well as individual subject prospectuses for some years. There are student handbooks, prize presentation programmes and programmes of official opening ceremonies. Records of staff, both teaching and non-teaching, include correspondence, details of appointments and lists of staff in post, and date from the 1960s. Governing body papers date from 1967 to 1975 and include agendas, minutes and correspondence. There are press cuttings, individual magazines and a photocopy of the Northampton Mercury report of the public meeting on science and art of 11th March 1867. Papers relating to John Blakeman include lecture programmes, patents and photographs. Other material includes stock books, an 1899 exercise book, a diary of college activities 1946-1973, a visitors book covering 1933-1946 and various student magazines.

Administrative / Biographical History

On 11th March 1867, a free public lecture on Science and Art was held, under the auspices of the Museum Committee, in the Town Hall in Northampton. As a direct result of it's popularity, evening classes in electricity and magnetism were started in October of that year. The classes proved popular, the range of subjects soon increased, and expansion necessitated several changes of venue.

1894 saw the founding of the Northampton and County Technical and Modern School, combining the Science and Art Department classes and an established Grammar School. Day, evening and weekend classes were held here. In 1907, the evening class organisation became the Northampton and County Technical and Art School, with the School of Art functioning separately. In 1908 it changed it's name to Northampton and County Technical School and School of Art. At this time it was based in premises in Abington Square.

Further name changes occurred, in 1911 to Northampton Technical School and in 1924 to Northampton Technical College. Also in the latter year, a site in St George's Avenue was purchased for £7000. Work began on the site in 1931. Originally a joint College of Art and Technology was planned, but due to financial recession only the technology section was built. A grand Official Opening Ceremony of the new Northampton College of Technology by the Duke and Duchess of York took place on 17th November 1932.

In 1937 the wing to house the Art School was completed and the Northampton School of Art moved in to its new premises. Both the Art School and the College of Technology although now housed in the same building continued to function as separate entities.

In 1954, the Central College of Further Education was established as a direct result of the 1944 Education Act. A statutory obligation of the Act meant that local authorities were required to submit a scheme for Further Education to the Ministry of Education. Finally approved on 11th June, 1952 one of the first decisions taken under the new structure was the establishment of a Governing Body for the College. The minutes of the Governing Body for April 1954 and June 1954 refer to the drawing up of the Instrument and Articles of Government and the appointment of the new Governing Body.

The Governing Body minutes from 1954 onwards show that the Central College of Further Education reported to the Northampton County Borough Education Committee. Both the College of Technology and the School of Art continued to operate as separate entities under the new regime, with each having their own distinct sets of minutes and a separate Governing Body.

It is likely that other relevant papers from this period were destroyed by a fire in a County Council records store. Governors papers from the late 1960s and early 1970s use three different headings, Central College of Further Education, College of Technology and School of Art, and College of Technology.

In 1961 further building work joining the two wings of the Art School and the College of Technology was completed. The new frontage to the building finally completed the programme of work which began in 1931.

A full inspection in 1963 concluded that the site was inadequate to cope with increasing demands and revisions were made to the Further Education Development Plan approved by the Ministry of Education in 1952. It was decided to create a College of Advanced Technical Education and build two new Colleges of Further Education instead of only two County Colleges of Further Education as previously planned. Further alterations and extensions to the College were opened on 24th March 1970.

By the early 1970s the College was again outgrowing its accommodation and a solution to the problem needed to be found. At this time it was realised that the provision of Higher Education could not be expanded unless it was separated from that for Further Education. In 1973 the newly built Northampton College of Further Education opened and some of the craft based courses formerly run at the College of Technology were transferred. This move created the room needed for the development of Higher Education at the College of Technology.

In 1975 the Northampton College of Technology, the Northampton College of Education and the Northampton School of Art were amalgamated to form Nene College, a College of Higher Education.


The collection is arranged in to twenty four series as detailed in the University of Northampton online catalogue for the Northampton College of Technology

Access Information

All items are accessible. Details about our opening times and how to arrange a visit can be found on the University of Northampton Archive web pages.

Acquisition Information

The collection contains material from several sources. Some files were transferred from Northamptonshire County Council records store. Other collections of material were made by Victor Hatley, for many years Librarian at the College, and John Blakeman, Principal of the College 1911-1941. Further materials and memorabilia were collected by individuals who cannot now be identified.

Other Finding Aids

Online catalogue.

Some images from our collections have been uploaded to Flickr

Conditions Governing Use

Normal copyright restrictions apply

Digital images of documents and other materials in our archive catalogue, where the copyright is owned by The University of Northampton, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. A copy of the license can be viewed online or requested from Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, U.S.A.,

If you wish to reproduce an image from the University Archive for commercial purposes a fee will be charged according to that usage. We offer a competitive rate tailored to your requirements.

Where copyright does not lie with the University it is your responsibility to approach the rights holder.


We do not expect that there will be major accruals to this collection but the University would welcome the chance to discuss any further potential donations of records relating to the Northampton College of Technology.

Related Material

Records for the College of Technology should be used in conjunction with those for the Northampton School of Art, which are also held by the University of Northampton Archive.