Amazingly intricate ‘Friendship Books’ shared by students before the dawn of social media are just some of the fascinating items housed in Edge Hill University’s Archive.

Following the opening of the new Archive in the University’s Catalyst building, there is a call out for any items related to Edge Hill and it’s illustrious 134-year history. Archivist Anna Watson, said:

“We have some fascinating items in our newly created Archive. The Friendship books which include delicate illustrations, hand written poems and songs which were shared between students are just one of the highlights.

“We also have a large collection of photos, school scarves, postcards and the early card registration forms for students studying here when it was the first non-denominational teacher training college for women in England.

“Despite the amazing collection of items we already have there are gaps in the timeline, including the period 1885-1930 when Edge Hill College opened on Durning Road in Edge Hill in Liverpool then moved to its current home in Ormskirk in the 1930s.

“We also have very little from when the College was requisitioned for use as a military hospital during World War Two and the students were evacuated to Bingley in Yorkshire.”

The Archive contains over 7,000 items including uniform, badges, building plans, autograph books and documents. Anna added:

“There are so many interesting items that give us an insight into not only Edge Hill but also reveal our wider social history and the history of education.

“I particularly like our photographs, some show early shots of the campus and common room, others female gym dress in the 1920s and trip outs to the Wirral to play tennis.”

Ruth Wilson, Information Resources Manager, said:

“The Archive is not only important in documenting the University’s history right back to its founding in 1885 but is also a significant part of social history.

“Our items document University life through the past 134 years and will be of interest to many researchers including those connected to the University, studying family history, education through the decades or the wider history of Lancashire.

“We are keen for any items, big or small and from any year including anything recent. Full information is on our website at https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/edge-hill-archive/ or people can call us on 01695 657516.”

Items can be lent for copying, given for permanent storage but with ownership retained or donated to the University. They will be kept in environmentally controlled conditions meeting archival standards.