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Exploring the Colonial History of the University of Leeds

Exploring the Colonial History of the University of Leeds - Part 2

Nell Hayes supervised by Nina Wardleworth

Headshot of Nell HayesAbout the student researcher

I am in my third year of studying History. I am really proud to be able to contribute research on the colonial background of the University of Leeds as I believe it is our responsibility to unearth and acknowledge the parts of our history we may not wish to. As a current student, I feel that it is important for students such as myself to take an interest in our background. As well as helping the university accomplish its decolonising aims in order to further broaden the inclusivity of the institution, for students from all walks of life. I am fascinated by many different areas of historical study, and felt this project was the perfect way to not only expand my academic interests, but also to make a difference to my university.

Project overview

The aim of the project was to look into the history of the University of Leeds, with a focus on better understanding our colonial links. My research centred on archive work, exploring prospectuses, committee minutes, letters, pictures and a whole host of other documents. The breadth of my topic led me to documents in a wide variety of places, including the Special Collections, the West Yorkshire Archives, the archives of the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers', and the Brotherton and Edward Boyle libraries on campus.