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:
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.
The designs of the 1960s and early 1970s prospectuses mostly reflect the way the University saw itself: interdisciplinary, modern, technological, socially aware.
Later 1970s designs were simple, often based on the University’s coat of arms.
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.
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.
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!