British & Foreign School Society (BFSS)
The Archive Collection of the British and Foreign School Society (BFSS
) is probably the most important collection in the world on 19th Century elementary education and teacher training. The origin of the collection dates back to the time of Joseph Lancaster and his establishment of a school at Borough Road, Southwark around the turn of the 19th century.
The Collection contains material concerning Joseph Lancaster’s work in the UK and the American continents. The material documents activities from 1810. The early minute books held, date from 1808 and record the work of the Trustees of the Royal Lancasterian Institution up to the end of 1813 and subsequently of the British and Foreign School Society from 1814. These books contain reference to: financial matters including difficulties with Lancaster, the management of the Lancasterian Institution, the establishment and progress of the British Schools, and those training with or working for Lancaster.
There are also documents relating to the early activities of the Society as supporters of Lancaster’s ideas. These documents date from 1808 and include financial papers and papers on the Lancasterian Institution and the BFSS prior to 1833.
Other papers contained within the collection are:
- 19th Century foreign correspondence and pamphlets; these contain the papers on educational work and progress on schooling from around the world.
- Schools correspondence, reports and inspection returns from the 19th century.
- BFSS 20th century Secretaries papers containing documents concerning BFSS controlled schools and charitable funds.
Printed sources include: The Annual Reports of the BFSS 1814 to date, the Educational Record 1848-1929.
The BFSS Teacher Training College papers comprise papers concerning the administration and life of the colleges:
- Borough Road College 1881-1902 includes papers on the running of the college and student matters.
- Stockwell College papers include papers on the building, the running of the college and former students. These archives date from 1860.
- Saffron Walden Training College19th and 20th century papers: documents on the college building; the alumni association; student matters; Governor’s papers; degrees; courses; and other papers associated with the business of the college.
- There are also records from the period when Borough Road College became amalgamated, along with two other establishments (Maria Grey College and the Acton and Chiswick Polytechnic) into the West London Institute of Higher Education in 1976.
- There are several series of 19th and 20th century minute books and registers associated with the works of the BFSS and the training colleges.
The Archive is supported by a collection of books and pamphlets on education dating from the 19th Century which includes the Salmon collection, a collection of early 19th century books on elementary education. Contained within the Salmon Collection are book written by Joseph Lancaster and Andrew Bell. Works by Pestalozzi, Froebel together with Victorian and Edwardian childrens’ books are also held together with many other publications in the field of education.
Other material held within the archive includes:
- The Burrell Bibles Collection: donated to Borough Road College in memory of Arthur Burrell, Principal of the College 1900-1913.
- Joan Cass archive collection: a collection of 19th and 20th century childrens' books.
- Sporting shields and cups from Borough Road College.