Education has been central to the development of Huddersfield for nearly two hundred years. The archive of the University of Huddersfield reflects both an historical interest in giving the working classes a good education, and the philanthropy of local businessmen and land owners, who supported the reading rooms of the mid-19th century. These were the catalyst for the Huddersfield Mechanics’ Institute and the Huddersfield Female Educational Institute, both of which initially taught basic skills to local people on a subscription basis.
Educational trends then moved toward vocational education, and the institution evolved into the Huddersfield Technical College, which offered day classes to younger students and evening classes to those employed on a full-time basis. Other educational collections include Holly Bank (Technical) Teacher Training College, which focused on producing a new generation of skilled vocational teachers. The records of the West Yorkshire College of Health, the National Adult School Union and the Open College Network are also held in the archive.
The collections also reflect some areas of research and inter-disciplinary studies.