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Opening up the Archives - BFSS Schools Folio digitised

BFSS Folio eg of page charring

We recently completed a project to digitise and catalogue a large volume of plans, elevations, architectural drawings and watercolours of British Schools and British and Foreign School Society colleges, including Borough Road College, a predecessor college of Brunel University London. 

We decided to digitise and catalogue the volume in order to make the contents more widely accessible.  We believe that the items in the volume were originally individual loose items, but following a direct hit from an incendiary bomb on the building which housed the BFSS Central Office in September 1940, and the subsequent salvage operation, the papers were collected together and stuck in the large volume in an attempt to conserve them.  Some still show charring around the edges, while others appear to have had their charred edges cut off, so they are a strange shape.  The order they are stuck into the volume seems completely random.

The University's photographer, Sally Trussler, photographed every item in the volume - some pages have more than one item per page.  Then the images were processed, described and attached to our online archives catalogue, CALM, by the Archivist.  There are now 92 descriptions and images in the catalogue which can be viewed anywhere in the world - and the archivist no longer has to carry the huge volume upstairs from the strong room every time an image is requested!

These images can be viewed online here:

For further information, please see our webpages, or contact us on archivesandrecords@brunel.ac.uk