CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
TitleRecords of Northern College of Education (formerly Aberdeen College of Education, Aberdeen Provincial Training Centre, Aberdeen Church of Scotland Training College and Aberdeen Free Church Training College. Also records of Practising/Demonstration Schools and Woolmanhill Emergency Physical Training Centre)
Date1874 - 2001
Extent1341 volumes/files, 127 plans and 4 bundles, 277 photographs and 1 photo album, 10 objects, 3 artworks and 2 audio tracks
Creator NameRecords of Northern College of Education (formerly Aberdeen College of Education, Aberdeen Provincial Training Centre, Aberdeen Church of Scotland Training College and Aberdeen Free Church Training College. Also records of Practising/Demonstration Schools and Woolmanhill Emergency Physical Training Centre)
Administrative HistoryThe first educational establishment on the site around George Street, St Andrew Street, Charlotte Street and John Street was a monitorial school built by the Aberdeen Education Society on the west side of Charlotte Street and opened in 1828. After the Disruption of 1843 it became the charge of the South Parish Free Church. A year or two afterwards the Free East Church was running a school next door and the West Kirk session had one in George Street.

The Education Act (1872) instituted free universal education and called for the formal training of teachers. In 1874, the Church of Scotland established a training college in George Street and in 1875 The Free Church did the same on the Charlotte Street site.

In 1905 a re-organisation took place of teacher training provision in Scotland and four provincial committees were set up on a regional basis. The Aberdeen Provincial Training Centre was created and existed until 1959 when another reorganisation brought in the Aberdeen College of Education. The Practising or Demonstration School remained in John Street but was closed in 1970.

This latest set up lasted until 1987 when the education colleges of Aberdeen and Dundee were merged to form the Northern College of Education. The Northern College then operated as a unitary institution based on two campuses. The latest change was in 2001 when the Northern College and the University of Aberdeen merged to create the University of Aberdeen Faculty (now School) of Education.

For more on the history see:

Chronicle of Aberdeen Demonstration School (J.C. Milne, 1946)

"T.C." A History of Aberdeen College of Education (James Scotland, Supplement to 'Education in the North' Vol VI, [1969])

The History of Scottish Education, Vol. 1. From the beginning to 1872 -- Vol. 2. From 1872 to the present day (James Scotland, University of London Press, 1969)

An Appreciation of John Hardie, Principal, Aberdeen College of Education 1939-1961 (JR Clark, Director of Education for Aberdeen City (1955-1975) and AL Young, Director of Education for Aberdeen County (1945-1968): Aberdeen College of Education, 1985)

A Century of Service: Northern College Remembered (Alastair Campbell & Hilda Doran (eds.), In House Northern College, 2001)

Hilton Memories: Commemorating the closing of the Hilton Campus (University of Aberdeen Central Printing Service, 2005)

The History of Dunfermline College of Physical Education (Isabella McLean, The College, 1976)
SourceThe records were surveyed and transferred throughout 2003-2004. Additional deposits in 2008 and 2009.
DescriptionThe Church Colleges:

There are very detailed student records including Enrolment Registers, Attendance Registers and Records of Assessment. There are also some class/staff photographs.

The Practising/Demonstration Schools:

There are Admissions Registers from 1909-1968, Registers of Lefts from 1925-1970 and Teacher Log-Books from 1888-1970. There are also administrative records including financial records and salaries books.

Woolmanhill Emergency Physical Training Centre:

There are student records, plans and photographs.

Aberdeen Provincial Training Centre/Aberdeen College of Education/Northern College of Education:

There are very detailed student records from 1905-1959 including Registers of Students, Student Photographic Albums, Training Records, Yearbooks and class photographs. There are also extensive administrative records including minutes of the Aberdeen Provincial Committee and sub-committees, papers of the Director of Studies, Student Representatives Council, financial records, staff records and plans.

The student records from 1959 are still of current use and held by the School of Education. From 1959 onwards a highlight are the very detailed administrative and management records including the papers of Principal James Scotland (1961-1983). There are also minutes of the Governing Body and sub-committees, papers of College staff (including the Vice and Assistant Principals and College Secretary), financial records, staff records, teaching materials, College publications, plans and photographs.
AppraisalA collection of 20th century audio-visual material from the Audio-Visual Unit was transferred to the Scottish Screen Archive in 2006 (see accession 175).

Scottish Education Department circulars, memorandum, copies of legislation sent to all Colleges of Education have been disposed.

Scottish Education Department Returns - 'Medical Report on candidate for Teacher's Certificate' outgoing (form 9T) 1959-1962 have been disposed.

Printed pamphlet collection (mainly Scottish Education Department, B.B.C, general education pamphlets from the 1950s-1970s) have been weeded.
ArrangementGeneral arrangement of separate institutional bodies -

Aberdeen Church of Scotland Training College
Aberdeen Free Church Training College
Practising/Demonstration Schools
Aberdeen Provincial Training Centre
Woolmanhill Emergency Physical Training Centre
Aberdeen College of Education
Northern College of Education

General arrangement of catalogue -

College Administration (this section is divided into the relevant management and administrative bodies/persons)
Pupil/Student Administration (Student Admission, Pupil/Student Registration and Assessment Administration)
Resources Management (Financial Administration, Payroll Administration, Personnel Administration and Estate Administration)
Teaching (Teaching Materials, Course Materials, Teaching/Course Review)
Records arranged by form (Photographs, Plans, Slides, Audio, Artwork and Objects)

The catalogue arrangement was based upon the JISC Study of Records Lifecycle Structure for Higher Education Institutions.
Access StatusRestricted
Access ConditionsSome records contain personal information and may be closed for 75 (for adults) and 100 (for children 16 and under) years under the Data Protection Act (1998).

Also, some printed publications are also held in the Reading Room and please use these access copies where possible.
Physical DescriptionNo physical conditions affecting use of collection.
Related Material School Log book, Free East Church School, St Andrew Street 1863-1874. (MS 3812)
Aberdeen Church of Scotland Training College staff and student photographs, 1881-1893 class groups. (MS 3793)
Aberdeen Church of Scotland Training College lecture notes and report book, 1900-1904. (MS 3794)
Aberdeen Church of Scotland Training College lecture notes and papers 1901-1903 (MS 3826)
Aberdeen Church of Scotland Training College lecture notes, 1904-1906 (MS 3841)
Aberdeen Provincial Training Centre lecture Notes, 1910. (MS 3798)
Aberdeen Provincial Training Centre lecture Notes, 1912 (MS 3817)
Aberdeen Provincial Training College lecture notes and papers, 1901-1914 (MS 3820)
Agnes Lyall: teaching training lecture notes, 1930-1931 (MS 3606)
University of Aberdeen Department of Education papers 1921-2000 (MSU 1450)
James Scotland, Principal of Aberdeen College of Education: papers (copies) (MS 3834). Includes an unpublished history of the teaching colleges in Aberdeen and also a volume of biographies of teaching staff.
Finding AidsTo locate student records please see Finding Aids field in relevant Student Administration section.
Related RecordMS 3834
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