Engaging with the history of the University of Birmingham 

Dr Malcolm Dick has succeeded in gaining funding from the University of Birmingham’s Annual Giving Programme, which distributes money generously raised from the alumni, former students of the University, to support good causes in the University. 

Photo of the Aston Webb  Building under construction in 1908.

The money Malcolm has received will be used during 2011, to support a project exploring aspects of the history of the University of the Birmingham with students, staff, alumni and former University employees. There are existing histories of the University, but this project attempts to add to the modern archive and begin scoping for a new history.

Individually and in groups, students, alumni and staff will, amongst other things, interview alumni about their lives at the University; produce histories of buildings or collections and biographies of former scholars; provide an archaeological history of the University; survey student experiences, create a photographic record of University life and look at the changing relationship between the University and the city. There will be three filmed workshops: a campus tour to explore the physical landscape of the University; a Special Collections session to investigate the University archives and a session exploring the University Collections.

The project has a number of aims: to develop the skills and knowledge of students and staff through investigating the University’s history; to encourage students and staff to engage with the University’s Collections, landscape and heritage, to communicate with individual alumni and record their experiences of the University and to create a multi-media archive of the University for Special Collections, now the Cadbury Research Library.

Outputs include: a multi-media archive for the University Archives, written and illustrated material for the University’s website, a leaflet on the University’s history and a scoping study for a new history of the University.

If you are a current or former student or a current or former member of staff and would like to work with the project group, please contact Malcolm Dick on m.m.dick@bham.ac.uk or +44 (0)121 415 8253.