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Archive and Special Collections: A gateway to our University’s past

Ambrose Congdon Donation

Ambrose Congdon 1909-2000

Ambrose Congdon born 1909 in Devon, was a student at Carnegie College of Physical Training during the 1936-37 academic year. This was during the first decade of Carnegie College under the leadership of Warden, Ernest Major. After leaving the college, Congdon taught Physical Education at a variety of schools in the Midlands.
Congdon a keen amateur film-maker while at Carnegie shot footage of many college activities and events. Ernest Major asked him to show them to students of the college on a number of occasions, effectively using his film as an early form of 'video' promotion. Congdon died in his native Devon at Tiverton in 2000.

Beckett Park Library Collection

The Library in the Education Block around 1912

In 1907, the Leeds Education Committee established The City of Leeds Training College. In 1913, a purpose built training college opened in the grounds of the former Kirkstall Grange estate bought from the Beckett family. In 1933, Carnegie Hall erected on the same estate, housed the Carnegie College of Physical Training. By 1968 the training college had been renamed City of Leeds College of Education and in that same year merged with Carnegie College becoming City of Leeds and Carnegie College. The College later merged with Leeds Polytechnic in 1976. In 1992, Leeds Polytechnic became Leeds Metropolitan University and in 2014 became Leeds Beckett University.

The Library at Headingley Campus (formerly Beckett Park) housed in the James Graham Building (formerly known as the Education Block of Main Building) since 1912.  At least some of the halls of residence appear to have had their own library, although it is not clear what form they took or what relationship they had with the main college library. Carnegie College too had its own library, merged in 1968 with the library of the training college, some of the books from Carnegie survive in the Carnegie Historical Collection.
This artificial collection contains items of historical interest that were either deposited or collected by the Library from 1912 to 2004. This collection mainly focuses on the City of Leeds Training College and the Carnegie Physical Training College.

Local History Collection

Collection of books from Leeds Beckett University archive

This small collection is a repository for books and pamphlets of local interest, these books complement our other special collections particularly art and architectural material.

The book stock at both Headingley and Shelia Silver Libraries included many items of local interest which were no longer required. In 2009, this collection formed around those items of special interest and included local material from the former ‘Z’ Cabinet Special Collection. 

Iain Poole Donation

CLTC Harrier team 1912 from Thomas Halliwell reminisces

This is a small collection of material collected by Iain Poole and colleagues at the History Department of the City of Leeds and Carnegie College. The material was collected from a wide variety of sources and passed to the archive by Iain Poole on his retirement.

Iain Poole was a Lecturer of History at the City of Leeds and Carnegie College and Leeds Polytechnic. Joining the institution in 1971, he retired from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2006. He was Head of the History Department at Leeds Polytechnic School of Education.

Carnegie Historical Collection

Student reading in Carnegie Library

The Collection comprises historical books, journals and pamphlets on the subjects of physical education, sport, recreation and health education, most published before 1946. Originally based on the library of Ernest Major (1898-1989), first Warden of Carnegie College of Physical Training from 1933 to 1939, other books added from the Carnegie College library and the City of Leeds College of Education Library. Some others are thought to have been acquired from Edwin Bouffler (1905-1991), who was Major's successor as Warden, and other past members of the Carnegie staff.

Ernest Major left his collection of books to the college on his retirement. Major was born on 28 July 1898 in Blackburn, Lancashire. In 1901, his father, William Major, was a Gymnastic and Fencing Master at Thommason's Gymnasium in Bolton. Ernest Major studied at the Silkeborg College of Physical Training in Denmark, 1913-15. He was a member of the Carnegie Advisory Body prior to his appointment as Warden. During the Second World War, he served as Lieutenant in the 51st Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment, and was promoted to Major towards the end of the war. From 1946 onwards, he was HM Staff Inspector for Physical Education. Major was awarded an OBE in 1977. He died in 1989.
Edwin Bouffler was appointed as Warden of Carnegie in 1946 and in 1948 took on the title of Principal. Carnegie changed its name to Carnegie College of Physical Education. Bouffler retired in 1968.

In 1968, the City of Leeds College of Education and Carnegie College of Physical Education merged, and Mr Major's core collection combined with similar books from the College Library to form the Carnegie Historical Collection. During the early 1990s when the refurbishment of Headingley Library, the Collection was transferred to Carnegie School where it was put in store. The Archive acquired this collection in 2004.

Joan Newiss compiled a paper catalogue was in 1969, amended in 1971.

West Yorkshire Society of Architects

West Yorkshire Society of Architects insignia

In 1960, the West Yorkshire Society of Architects permanently loaned its Library to Leeds School of Architecture, part of Leeds College of Art.  The Leeds Architectural Society established in 1876 with architect George Corson as its first President. The Society amended its name to The Leeds and Yorkshire Architectural Society in 1883. In 1928 changing its name to the West Yorkshire Society of Architects. Formal affiliation to the Royal Institute of British Architects began in 1891. Members of the Society were instrumental in the formation of a Leeds School of Architecture in 1902.

The Leeds Public Reference Library originally housed the books of the Leeds and Yorkshire Architectural Society from 1904 until 1930, at which time the Society rehoused its Library at their headquarters on Woodhouse Lane.  By 1960, the same books formed the West Yorkshire Society of Architects Library on permanent loan to Leeds School of Architecture. The Library moved to the now demolished Brunswick Terrace Campus following the architecture school to its new home in 1979. In 2000, when Brunswick closed, the Library moved to the Leslie Silver Building. During 2016/17 the West Yorkshire Society of Architects Library and the Leeds School of Architecture Library have both been moved to our new archive room on Headingley Campus. 
Together the two collections form a significant and invaluable research resource for the study of architecture.

During the 1950s, the Librarian for both the School of Architecture and WYSA collections was W. H. Plommer. He compiled a useful annotated catalogue of the School’s books in 1952 subsequently he produced a WYSA catalogue in their 1953-4 Session Green Book.

Books from the WYSA Library Collection

Tom Pevsner Collection

Tom Pevsner film scripts

Tom Pevsner donated his collection of film ephemera collection to the Northern Film School of Leeds Metropolitan University. Among this collection were film and theatre memorabilia, playbills, posters and film scripts. Pevsner wanted his material to be available to Students and other scholars, In 2005 Ian McDonald then Head of the Film School sorted through the material a placed the scripts in the then Civic Quarter Library of Leeds Metropolitan University retaining the remainder of the collection for the Film School. In 2008, the scripts came into the care of the Archive and Special Collections when it was set up.

Tom Pevsner was a producer, writer and director working on British and European films, from the early 1950s until the late 1990s. His career spanned from Elstree studio productions such as The Ladykillers to his role as Executive Producer on James Bond films. The film script collection contains original story boards, working film script many with Tom Pevsner and colleagues original annotations.