Using the library
Loughborough University Archives
The Loughborough University Archive (LUA) is situated in the Pilkington Library, on level 1.
The Archive holds written, photographic and other material relating to the University and its predecessor colleges. Collections also container papers of former staff and students and material of historical significance to the Institution.
Using the Archive
LUA is open to all who wish to consult and research archival materials; this includes staff and students of the University, alumni, private researchers, and members of the public. The University is keen to keep access as unrestricted and inclusive as possible so please do contact us if you have specific accessibility requirements and we will endeavour to see how we can help.
Any service user of the Archive is granted access on the understanding that they are responsible for ensuring that their use of the accessed information – whether transcribed, abstracted, or copied in any way – does not infringe or breach the following legislation:
- UK General Data Protection Regulations,
- Data Protection Act 2018,
- Human Rights Act 1998,
- Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, or
- any subsequent amendments to relevant legislation.
If you have general queries about LUA or the material held, please contact the University Archivist in the first instance. Requests for information contained within archival materials that are small in scope and do not involve extensive research can also be emailed. More complex or lengthy queries should be conducted in person by the requester or their representative.
All requests will be dealt with at the discretion of the Archivist who may be able to identify, digitise or transcribe some of the materials held in the Archive. This could cover:
- Photographic materials
- Information and records about former students, staff, and the institution
- Information and records about the history of the University and its predecessors
We understand that it is not always practical for researchers to visit in person so we will endeavour to answer queries as far as is reasonable within the resources available, but we are unable to undertake lengthy research on behalf of requestors.
Please note that all requests will be dealt with in line with the appropriate legislation and in some cases, you may be required to provide ID, as well as authorisations to access restricted or closed records.
A few things to consider before contacting LUA
Restrictions on Access
Most University archival material is open for consultation, however, there are certain circumstances under which we may restrict access to individual items or collections. Reasons access may be restricted include:
The University’s historical institutional records are held at the University Archive; due to the possibility that they may include information that is commercially sensitive they are usually closed for a 30-year period following their creation.
Personal Data Protection
The University Archive holdings contains unpublished information about living people (data subjects), for instance former and current staff or students, donors, enquirers, and researchers. That personal information is subject to data protection legislation and may be restricted.
Access to an item may be withheld if the item is in unfit condition, i.e., it is fragile and any handling of it may cause damage. Where the original item cannot be made available, if possible, alternative means of accessing the item’s contents, such as transcription or digital surrogates, will be considered.
Some items or collections held by University Archive are subject to access controls or restrictions by agreement with the donor or depositor of the material. In entering into such agreements, the University will have regard to Freedom of Information legislation and will attempt as far as possible to keep to a minimum the period of restriction or control, subject to meeting the legitimate concerns of the donor or depositor.
Some of the material held by the Archive is subject to copyright. Copyright can be held by a range of depositors including, but not limited to, the Loughborough University, private individuals, estates or trusts and commercial entities. The University does not have the right to grant permission to reuse materials for which it does not hold the copyright. If visitors want to publish an image or a copy of a record, or share it in anyway, they need to seek permission from the copyright holder. The University Archive will request proof of permission from the rights holder before supplying any high-resolution copy or image to share.
Access to closed records is at the discretion of the Archivist and these will be considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with appropriate professional colleagues. When access to items or collection is denied or restricted, reasons for doing so and conditions of restricted access will be explained in full.
Visiting the Archive
Access to LUA holdings is by appointment only so please do contact us before you plan to visit so we can arrange a suitable time and ensure we have the material you need available in our consulting room.
Our opening hours for visits are:
- Tuesday 10 till 3
- Wednesday 10 till 1
Additionally, any archive service user will need to provide photo ID and confirm that they will comply with our code of conduct.
Code of Conduct for Visiting the Archive
These regulations are designed to protect the materials and information held in the Archive.
When visiting the Archive, you will need to provide photo ID and confirm that in addition to general Library Regulations you will comply with the code of conduct detailed here. Visitors are asked to help us preserve our collections by:
- Only bringing pencils, notepads/paper, mobile phone, camera and/or laptop to the consultation room.
- Using any conservation aids provided such as book pillows, weights, gloves etc
- Not removing any archival material from the consultation room.
- Not removing items from sleeves.
- Not changing the order items have been given in.
- Not bringing any food or drink into the consultation room
- Following any instructions given by the Archivist or staff on duty whilst in the consultation room.
- Handling all items with care, not marking documents, folding pages, or placing anything on top of the archival material being viewed
Any service user of the Archive is granted access on the understanding that they are responsible for ensuring that their use of the accessed information – whether transcribed, abstracted, or copied in any way – does not infringe or breach the following legislation or any subsequent amendments:
- UK General Data Protection Regulations,
- Data Protection Act 2018,
- Human Rights Act 1998,
- Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988,
It may be possible for visitors to take digital photographs of archival material if this is within copyright guidelines, but we ask that when using mobile phones or cameras to take pictures you switch off the flash to aid preservation of the archival material. If copies of higher resolution are needed, then please do consult with the Archivist who may be able to help with this.
If visitors want to publish an image or a copy of a record, or share it in anyway, they need to seek permission from the copyright holder. The University Archive will request proof of permission from the rights holder before supplying any high-resolution copy or image to share.
Anyone wishing to provide feedback or make a complaint about the Archive service should contact the Archivist in the first instance. The University will endeavour to respond to feedback promptly and appropriately.
Brief history of the University
Loughborough University has a long history as an institution of further and higher education. It originated from the Loughborough Technical Institute, set up by Leicestershire County Council in 1909 to provide local facilities for further education. Courses in science, art and technology were taught in day and evening classes.
During the First World War, the Technical Institute, on the initiative of an energetic new Principal, Herbert Schofield, became an 'Instructional Factory' for the Ministry of Munitions. In addition to normal teaching, the College trained over 2000 men and women 'on production' for the munitions industry, making shell cases and machine parts in the college workshops.
Between the wars, Loughborough College (as it was renamed in 1920) expanded, attracting students from all over the world. It widened its reputation beyond engineering to athletics, handicrafts and teacher training. In 1951-2 the College was divided into four separate institutions reflecting its main areas of interest. Loughborough Training College (later Loughborough College of Education) provided teacher training; Loughborough College of Art taught art and design; Loughborough College of Further Education (now Loughborough College) offered local and vocational training; and Loughborough College of Technology continued its courses in science and engineering.
The College of Technology continued to train 'on production' and by sandwich courses and in 1957 was designated a College of Advanced Technology. In 1966 it was granted university status and received a royal charter as Loughborough University of Technology. In 1977 the original structure was partly restored when the University and the College of Education were amalgamated. 1998 saw another chapter in the story when Loughborough College of Art and Design was also reunited with Loughborough University.
What's in the Archives?
The University Archives holds written, photographic and other material relating to the university and its predecessor colleges, as well as papers of former staff and students. Catalogues and indexes of the collections are available in the Archives Room.
Institutional archives cover administrative, financial, student registration and administration records, publications such as annual reports, financial statements, calendars and prospectus, but also newspapers and magazines, as well as departmental prospectuses and syllabuses, course regulations and works department drawings and production records. This is regarding the following bodies:
- Loughborough College, 1909-52
- Loughborough College of Technology, 1952-66
- Loughborough College of Education, 1952-77
- Loughborough College of Art & Design, 1952-98
- Loughborough University, 1966
Other materials of interest include alumni and student unions records, as well as donated papers, some of them from or relating to persons of interest such as for example:
- J F Peck
John Frederick Peck (1897-1972) was Head of the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering 1942-54 and became Head of the separated Department of Civil Engineering at Loughborough College of Technology 1954-62. His specialist field was hydraulic engineering, for which he won an international reputation. The fonds includes student notebooks, photographs, lantern slides and slides from circa 1915 to the 1960s.
- Dan Maskell
Dan Maskell (1923-1992) was a tennis coach and commentator, winner of British Professional Championship sixteen between 1928 and 1951. The only Rehabilitation Officer ever appointed during World War II as part of the Medical Rehabilitation Unit (MRU), he remains famous as “the voice of Wimbledon”, working for the BBC till the mid-1970s. The fonds comprises scrapbooks, correspondence, photographs, programmes and books from Maskell’s personal library, from the 1920s to the 1990s.
- “Bill” Pegg
Wilfrid Ernest Pegg (1910-1993) was a student and Lecturer in Civil Engineering (1945-1975). Specialised in tunnels and bridges, he worked for the Trans-Iranian Railway and the London Underground. The fonds covers 1930 to 1980 and includes scientific notes and drawings, photographs, and records relating to the Guild of Loughborough University of Technology.
- H E Hopthrow
Harry Ewart Hopthrow (1896-1992) was a student and engineer. He served with the Royal Engineers during the Second World War, and as director of Fortifications and Works at the War Office in 1943-1945. He also worked for Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd (ICI) and was Secretary and President of the Royal Institution. The fonds comprises of student notebooks, technical drawings, photographs and memorabilia, for the 1920s and 1930s.
- John Lucas
Born in 1937, John Lucas was a poet, critic and published who was appointed as Professor of English and Drama at the University between 1977, till his retirement in 1996. The fonds includes correspondence received by John Lucas from poets and authors, manuscript poems, plays, and published work, from circa 1930 to 1993.
- F W Collins
Francis William Collins (1905-1989) was involved in the organisation of sports and athletics in the Navy and nationally. He taught at the AAA Summer Schools at Loughborough College in the 1930s and was responsible for organising the Olympic Torch Relay for the 1948 Olympic Games and founded the Torch Trophy trust in 1962 The fonds comprises Collins’ papers and Olympic memorabilia, from circa 1933 to 1964.
- Peter Waals
Peter van der Waals (1870-1937) was a consultant in design at Loughborough College in the 1930s and was responsible for designing the furniture for Hazlerigg Hall and the panelling and furniture for the College Library and the Stadium Pavilion. The fonds consist of original designs and drawings, circa 1935.
- Sir Denis Rooke
Sir Denis was Chancellor of Loughborough University from 1989 to 2003, an appointment he held while also serving as Chairman of British Gas Plc. Known as ‘Mr Gas Industry’ Sir Denis was regarded as one of the all-time engineering greats in the 20th century. The fonds comprises records regarding Loughborough University of Technology, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the National Museum of Science and Industry, The Royal Society, etc., as well as private papers and the corporate records of British Gas Plc and its predecessors. An extensive paper catalogue is available for in-person consultation.
Can I offer materials to the Archive?
While LUA is a collecting Archive, our main concern goes towards ensuring the long-term preservation of materials for all, present and future users, to enjoy and learn from.
We enjoy hearing from past and present staff and students, members of the public, and organisations who would like to offer archival materials that have a connection to the University, and which can help us understand its history and long-lasting impact on people, as well as retell your stories and experiences.
Please get in touch if you have materials that you would like to offer us. While we may not be able to accept everything we are offered (often for space and preservation reasons), we would be pleased to know of them. In some cases, we may be able to suggest other repositories you can contact.
If there are materials that you’d like to show us, but are not quite ready to donate, we’d be grateful for an opportunity to see and discuss them with you, particularly in the case of students, staff or locations photographs, which we can scan and use as reference materials to enrich our understanding of the history of the University.