Tag Archives: Design

71. Why Study at Bradford? Social Science ’71 and Other Historic University Prospectuses

This week, some of the most useful and visually interesting items in the University Archive:  prospectuses offering essential information for students considering university applications.  Such prospectuses answered key questions about courses:

Prospectus for Undergraduate Social Sciences 1971, University of Bradford (UNI L32)

My favourite – the intriguing cover of this 1971 prospectus features very stylish students (I assume)  in front of an industrial scene (not the University as might be expected).

What qualifications do I need to apply?  What will I learn, and how?  Are there exams? Which careers could I pursue?  Who will teach me?  What will it be like at University?   Prospective students still need to know these things, but the traditional prospectus is now supplemented with masses of online information.

Prospectus for Postgraduate Traffic Engineering and Planning 1969, University of Bradford (UNI L11)

Prospectus for Postgraduate Traffic Engineering and Planning 1969.

The designs of the 1960s and early 1970s prospectuses mostly reflect the way the University  saw itself: interdisciplinary, modern, technological, socially aware.

Prospectus for Undergraduate Environmental Science 1972, University of Bradford (UNI L36)

Prospectus for Undergraduate Environmental Science 1972

Prospectus for Undergraduate Applied Social Sciences 1971, University of Bradford (UNI L24)

Prospectus for Undergraduate Applied Social Sciences 1971.

Later 1970s designs were simple, often based on the University’s coat of arms.

Prospectus for MA in Philosophy and Human Studies 1979, University of Bradford (UNI L49)

Prospectus for MA in Philosophy and Human Studies 1979.

Later designs tended to use photographs (I suspect technological advances in printing made this easier and cheaper), often combining images of students with powerful stock photography.

Prospectus for Undergraduate EI &MC, and Media Technology and Production 1995, University of Bradford (UNI L77)

Prospectus for Undergraduate EI & MC, and Media Technology and Production 1995

Special Collections people still find the historic prospectuses useful as a quick and accurate source of historic information about the University e.g. for lists of staff. They also contain great photographs of student life, University buildings etc.   We’ll be looking at student perspectives later.

Prospectus for Undergraduate Optometry 2003, University of Bradford (UNI L121)

Eye-catching prospectus for Undergraduate Optometry 2003.

If you remember being influenced to come to Bradford (or not!) by these publications, or maybe even were involved in writing or designing them, do let us know!


36. Fabrics and Fashion Plates: Patterns from Ackermann’s Repository

These gorgeous images come from a scrapbook, British Patterns of Manufacture, which collected the fabric patterns featured in Ackermann’s Repository for the benefit of students at Bradford Technical College.  Ackermann’s Repository of arts, literature, commerce, manufactures, fashions, and politics is a famous source for early 19th century fashion and style.

Patterns 1 from Ackermann's Repository

Patterns 1 from Ackermann’s Repository.

Dyeing was a major industry in 19th century Bradford, hence its importance at the Technical College, and at the Institute of Technology and University that succeeded it.  Hence also the Special Collection of dyeing and textile history books which we have inherited.  Patterns is typical of these books because it includes fabric samples.  It’s impossible to convey via digitised formats just how bright and tactile these fabrics are.   Tucked away inside books, they have not been harmed by light or dust or handling so remain vivid, contrasting wonderfully with their often drab bindings, leading to a lovely surprise when the volumes are opened.

Patterns 36 from Ackermann's Repository

Patterns 36 from Ackermann’s Repository

I chose Patterns for this exhibition because it is a personal favourite, offering a different perspective on the Regency period: there are the whites and pastels one might imagine, but also bold, even garish, hues and designs.

We don’t know what happened to the issues of the Repository from which these patterns were taken; I wonder if any West Yorkshire library has a run of the title missing its patterns?  To see the fabrics for real, check out other runs of the Repository in libraries (e.g. via COPAC).  Of course, there are various digitised versions online; this blog post from Two teens in the time of Austen is a useful guide to the  archive.org versions and also recommends this fascinating article about Rudolph Ackermann himself.