Edge Hill Archive

About the Archive

Black and white photograph of six students stood in the outdoors laughing

Students on a Natural Sciences field trip, the Wirral, 1920s

The Edge Hill University archive is the repository for the print and visual history of the institution from its foundation in 1885.

The University was originally opened as Edge Hill College in 1885 in Liverpool and was the first non-denominational teacher training college for women. In the 1930s, the college moved to Ormskirk and during the Second World War was evacuated to Bingley, Yorkshire, with the Ormskirk site requisitioned for use as a military hospital.  Therefore, the archive is a significant legacy for the history of teacher training and women’s education, as well as broader social histories. We also hold, and are actively seeking, collections that support the teaching, learning and research interests of the university. 

The expansion of Edge Hill in recent decades means its history has a great deal to tell us about the development of higher education in Britain as well as the changing experiences of those who studied and were employed here. Each milestone changed and broadened the horizons of what Edge Hill University is today.


The archive manages enquiries and makes material available for use Monday – Thursday 9.00am- 17.00pm. Please note that all archive appointments must be pre-booked. Please visit our online archive catalogue to discover more about and search our collections. However, many of our collections are still being catalogued and gradually added to the site, so please contact the archive service if you are interested in something that you cannot find in the catalogue.


All enquiries should be sent to [email protected] or call the archive on 01695 59 9704 (ext 2704).

Collections Management

For information on collections management, please see our Collection Management Policy for Special Collections and Archives.


What do we hold?

The archive is the repository for all material relating to the history of the University from 1885 to date. We also have collections relating to film and television studies, the First World War, the Hillsborough tragedy and historic books.

How do I access the archive?

The archive is in Catalyst on our Ormskirk campus. Just contact [email protected] to make an appointment or call 01695 59 9704 (ext 2704).


Sepia photograph of the cast of a drama production at Edge Hill College

Sepia photograph of the cast of a production of Macbeth, circa 1921, at the original Edge Hill College, Durning Road, Liverpool.

Can I borrow material?

No – all our material has historic value and much of it is fragile. It is kept in environmentally regulated conditions so access is restricted  to use in the building.

What are the archive opening times?

Access can be arranged 9am- 5pm Monday to Thursday. Please discuss with us if you need access outside these times.

Can I bring staff and students to visit the archive?

We are happy to attend team meetings or meet staff and students individually to explain what is in the archive and discuss how we can work with researchers and students. We are keen to explore ways of incorporating archives into teaching and research.
There is limited space in the archive itself, but alternative spaces can be booked, with advance notice, so that items can be viewed in a safe environment. We can also arrange sessions where students can handle items from the archive, have the opportunity to look at things close-up and find out about the benefits of archive materials to their work and research.

Watercolour painting of the Ormskirk campus main building.

Watercolour of the Ormskirk campus main building. Artist unidentified, 1950s.

How do I know what you have?

Please visit our online catalogue to browse the collections. Many of our archive holdings are still being catalogued and added to the site on a regular basis, so please contact us if you are looking for something that you cannot find in the catalogue.

How might I use the archive?

We are keen for our archive materials to be used across the University and in the wider community. It may be suitable for:

  • Teaching & Learning projects
  • Community-based history and learning projects
  • Exhibitions – both within and outside the University
  • Promoting the University
  • Research
  • Family history or other private research

Can I add material to the archive?

We are keen to receive appropriate donations that relate to the history of the institution or that align with our teaching and research interests. Please contact us to discuss any items you wish to donate.


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