Collections relating to LJMU's founding colleges

The LJMU History archives trace the evolution and development of the University from its earliest incarnation in 1823 as the Liverpool Mechanics' Institute through to its designation as a university in 1992.

The collections focus on the School of Art, the buildings in the Byrom Street area, the FL Calder School of Cookery, and the IM Marsh campus.

A book about the history of LJMU was published in 2017 using some of the material in these archives. Some of the LJMU History Collections are now available via our online catalogue and we hope to add more soon.

Art School Archive

This archive consists of papers relating to the history of the Liverpool Art School, particularly from the establishment of the Liverpool City School of Art in 1905 until the mid-1950s. There are a few papers relating to the pre-1905 establishment, and incomplete papers from the mid-1950s until the establishment of the Polytechnic in 1970. The Liverpool Art School Archive List, shows what is available, including files of correspondence that relate to all aspects of the running of the Art School, committee papers and admissions registers. There are also a number of photographs and related news cuttings dealing with Art School events, particularly in the 1920s and 30s.

Byrom Street Archive

This is a collection of documents relating to the history of the colleges in the Byrom Street area, which were incorporated into Liverpool Polytechnic in 1970. The archives include admissions registers, letter books and committee minutes. A basic list of items can be found in the Byrom Street Archive List.

FL Calder Archive

The FL Calder School of Cookery (later College of Domestic Science), named after its founder Fanny Louisa Calder, was one of the independent institutions which eventually became Liverpool John Moores University. The archives include interesting early cookery books, letters and administrative records, photographs and a letter from Florence Nightingale referring to Miss Calder as the “Saint of the Laundry, Cooking and Health”.  The FL Calder Box List provides a list of the contents of the collection - please note this is a working list.

IM Marsh Archive

This archive relates to the history of the IM Marsh College of Physical Education, established in 1900 by Irene Mabel Marsh.  The college moved to Barkhill in Aigburth in 1920, and joined Liverpool Polytechnic in 1983.  The name is now used for the part of the LJMU campus located in and around the IM Marsh College buildings in Barkhill.  This collection includes some administrative material related to the college, a number of books on Physical Education, and even some items of clothing donated by past students.  A list of the collection has been compiled, and can be found in the IM Marsh Shelf List.  For more information about the college and past students, please see the Association of Past Physical Education Students of I M Marsh College website.