Constructing a history of Edge Hill College from within 1885-1909: who were the women who trained at the teacher training institution and why is it important to know?

Project summary

Research Catalyst explores the range and diversity of those who studied and gained experience at Edge Hill College (EHC) 1885-1909 and the development of their careers thereafter. Researchers will gain understanding of the importance of EHC at this time, not just as a provider and innovator of teacher training for women in the North of England but as a contributor to the schools and communities these women joined. This material will be made openly available to the communities that link to Edge Hill through those who studied at the institution. We hope thereby to develop meaningful, enthusiastic and mutually beneficial partnerships based in our interests in the history of the women who studied at Edge Hill.

Research questions:

  • Who chose to study at Edge Hill College and why?
  • What was their experience at the College?
  • How did graduates develop their careers and/or lives in communities beyond Edge Hill and to what extent did they retain links to the College?

How are we going to do this?

Capitalising on the solid foundation offered by the complete run of student registration cards preserved in the archive for each trainee, a history of Edge Hill will be constructed by investigating the backgrounds and connections of thousands of student trainees.

The objective is to construct a social and cultural history which will focus on themes, such as social class, social mobility, and the responsibilities and identities of trained teachers within their communities. There will also be opportunities to construct case studies of more prominent women who have left a greater historical footprint.

Research intern

The first success intaking this project forward was to obtain funding from the Edge Hill Institute for Social Responsibility to fund an intern to work in the archive during the summer of 2022. We were fortunate in obtaining Jack Bennett and he worked hard to collate and input data, drawing on twenty-five years (1885-1909) of EHU and broader historical materials.

Do you have information about those who studied at Edge Hill at this time?

Are you someone who has been researching their family history and have an ancestor who studied at Edge Hill at this time (or indeed later)? We would be thrilled to hear from you if you can help us with this project. Please contact Professor Alyson Brown at [email protected]