Historic look into Barnsley’s art and design students

Historic records relating to the Barnsley College of Art and Design have been carefully sorted, preserved and catalogued over the last year by Barnsley Archives and Local Studies and are now available to researchers. 

Founded in 1874 as the Barnsley School of Arts and Crafts, early art lessons were held in the schoolroom of the Band of Faith Chapel at Churchfield. It was through a bequest of £1000 by Mr William Harvey that the school came into existence. Harvey’s personal art collection was also saved and is on show at Cannon Hall Museum. 

After four years at Churchfield, the School of Art moved to the Public Hall, staying there for many years, before being absorbed into the Technical Institute in 1908.

 In 1934, it became a separate institution again and no longer administered by the College of Technology. By 1948, the school had outgrown the Public Hall, and was re-housed at Fairfield House, Churchfield, close to its original site. Further annexes of the college were established on Racecommon Road, Park Road and St. George's Road, which provided the main facilities for the full time courses. 

Finally, in 1990, the college merged with the sixth-form college and the College of Technology to create the new Barnsley College.

 Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet said, “The records of the College of Art and its predecessors were donated to Barnsley Archives and Local Studies some years ago and are one of the largest single collections of local education records held. We are delighted, after much work from staff and volunteers, to be making them publically available.” The collection contains admission and attendance registers, photographs, prospectuses, financial records, and much more.

 Barnsley Archives and Local Studies, based in Barnsley Town Hall as part of the Experience Barnsley Museum, holds over 3,000 historic collections of archives, spanning 850 years. For further information about how to access the collections, call 01226 773950.


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