So that they may have life: University Heritage Project

National Lottery Heritage Funded Project

Archives and Special Collections, University of Leicester

Black and white photograph of some of the first students and staff, taken in 1922, (ULA/FG5/1/1).
Black and white photograph of some of the first students and staff, taken in 1922, (ULA/FG5/1/1).

Plans were announced in 1917 for a new college of higher education in Leicester, as a memorial to the sacrifices made by local people during WW1. Funded by donations from local benefactors and bereaved families, the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland University College opened its doors in 1921 to a small number of students drawn from the local area. The College took the motto, ut vitam habeant – “so that they may have life”.

Our community project will tell the story of the founding and early history of the University of Leicester. Working with volunteers we will explore our archives and make exciting new discoveries about the people and events that made our University.

Our activities:

• During the project we will improve preservation and access to archive material.

• We will research the foundation and development of the University.

• We will conduct oral history interviews with university alumni from the 1940s and early 1950s.

• We will run activities and events to celebrate the history of the University, including heritage training sessions.