Aston University Archives
The history of Aston University, Birmingham Municipal Technical School and the Birmingham Central Technical College
The Aston University Archives house materials related to the history of Aston University and its forerunner institutions, the Birmingham Municipal Technical School and the Birmingham Central Technical College. The records start from 1893 and trace the evolution of the University up until today.
The collection includes institutional records, documents, and objects which shed light on education, politics, economics, society and culture in Birmingham and the Midlands. It also chronicles a variety of trades and professions, reflecting both local and global developments.
Additional materials include newspapers, brochures and records of the popular music acts which performed in the Great Hall, together with videos and slides of the campus as it has been built up - and knocked down - as well as campus maps through the decades.
The archives contain works of art as well as notable objects, such as the Parker 51 fountain pen used by HM Queen Elizabeth II when she visited the recently-completed Main Building in 1955.
Some of the artefacts and other materials reflect changing cultural and societal norms over the decades: for example, a silver platter presented to the Senior Common Room by the Academic Wives’ Club in 1967.
A collection of water-damaged volumes waiting to be conserved in Aston University's Library.
A drawing of Aston University's predecessor institution: Birmingham Municipal Technical School.
Left to right: Dr Annette Rubery, Dr Ilaria Scaglia and William Peaden at the opening of Aston Archive Committee's first exhibition.
For more information about Aston University’s history and archives, you can watch the video above or listen to this Aston Originals podcast.
If you would like to consult any of these holdings, or if you have items that you think may be of interest to the Aston University Archives, please email email@example.com
The archives are closely linked to the History programme at Aston.
The Aston University Archives are closely linked to the History programme at Aston and its ongoing research projects.
Thanks to funding from the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust, it has been possible to conserve a number of important historical documents in the archives. In November 2022, Aston Archives Committee unveiled an exhibition in the University's Main Building foyer, showcasing a selection of of these volumes along with contextual information about Aston University's predecessor institutions. In addition to a ribbon-cutting by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Aleks Subic, talks were given by Dr Ilaria Scaglia and Professor Helen Higson, OBE, while Dr Brian Sudlow presented a film about the archives.
View some of the exhibition findings on the Birmingham Municipal Technical School: General Register for Session 1893-94 and Birmingham Municipal Technical School: General Register for Session 1920-21 pages.