Bedford Physical Education Archive

The Bedford Physical Education Archive holds a unique collection of materials charting the development of Bedford Physical Training College from its foundation by Margaret Stansfeld (1860-1951) in 1903 through to its absorption into the Bedford College of Higher Education in 1976. Illustrating the progress of women’s physical education during the twentieth century, the archive is an important resource for those interested in dance, gymnastics and sport but is not limited to physical education - the collection also offers the potential for research in the areas of teaching and education, social history, and women’s history and the female tradition.

The archive contains a wide variety of records, including syllabuses and examination papers charting the changing curriculum, an extensive collection of students’ photograph albums dating back to 1903, and oral history recordings from students and staff reflecting on how the College influenced their life and career.

The catalogue for the Bedford Physical Education Archive is available on the Archives Hub.

The Bedford Physical Education Archive is held in closed access at the Bedford Campus Library, Room Q0.10. Items are available to consult by appointment, Monday to Friday, 09.00-16.00.

Enquiries: karen.davies@beds.ac.uk

Guidance on handling items from the Bedford Physical Education Archive is available here.

Blogs

The Physical Education in the 1950s blog is based on a collection of letters from a student who was at Bedford College of Physical Education in the years 1955-1958.  Through publication of the letters and related material from the archive collection we offer an insight into the life of a Bedford PE student 60 years ago.

The Bedford Physical Education in 50 Objects blog explores the history of Bedford Physical Training College through objects held in the Bedford Physical Education Archive.  In the blog we describe the function or purpose of the object and explore its historical significance.

Printed Collection

The Archive has a collection of books and journals which can be searched online through the Library Catalogue.  Items in the Printed Collection are available to consult by appointment, Monday to Friday, 09.00-16.00.

 

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