Manuscripts and Special Collections

Midland Agricultural College

Midland Agricultural College

Photograph of Midland Agricultural College (UMP/5/34)


The Midland Agricultural College has had a long and complicated history within the University of Nottingham and its predecessor the University College, Nottingham. In 1893 the University College established a Department of Agriculture. Two years later in 1895 the Midland Dairy Institute was opened at Kingston-on-Soar, Nottinghamshire. Affiliated to the University College, the Institute was established with the aid of a joint agricultural education committee made up of local government representatives. In 1900 the Agricultural Department of the University College moved to Kingston and combined with the Midland Dairy Institute to form the Midland Dairy and Agricultural College. The College ended its association with the University College, Nottingham becoming an independent college in its own right.   

The college offered courses in theoretical and practical agriculture, dairying, horticulture and poultry. It was also the headquarters of the Board of Agriculture in the Midlands. The expansion in the Board of Agriculture's advisory role and an increase in student numbers led to the College purchasing a new 100 acre site at Sutton Bonnington in 1911. Building work began on the new site in 1914 but was halted in 1916 when the site was taken over for use as a prisoner of war camp. The building work was resumed in 1926 and the Kingston site finally closed in 1928.

In 1943 the Midland Dairy and Agricultural College's affiliation with the University College, Nottingham resumed after a 43 year gap. A joint faculty of agriculture and horticulture was established with 17 Board members from the Agricultural College and 11 from the University College. Principal HG Robinson of the Agricultural College became the first Professor of Agriculture. In 1946 it was agreed that the buildings and faculty at Sutton Bonnington would be transferred from the county council to the University College. On 1 April 1947, the Midland Agricultural College became the Faculty of Agriculture of University College, Nottingham. It became a part of the new University of Nottingham in 1948.  


Only a small amount of material survives for the Midland Agricultural College from what must have been a larger institutional archive belonging to the Midland Dairy Institute, Midland Dairy College and Midland Agricultural College. This material forms its own separate collection within the university archives. View the catalogue of the records of the Midland Agricultural College (UAC).

The majority of the material relates to the official workings of the Agricultural College. There is a complete series of minute books for the committee and governing body that were responsible for the governance of the college, (UAC/2). Financial papers consist of a Finance book for the Dairy Institute, 1897-1916, (UAC/1/1) and a staff wages book for 1944-1946, (UAC/1/2). There are no accounts for the College. A series of folders, (UAC/5) contain material relating to the history of the College. These folders primarily contain photocopies and transcripts.

Student records do not survive for the College.

Related material in other collections

Records relating to the Midland Dairy College can also be found in the University College collection (UCN). This collection contains a series of files relating to the Midland Agricultural College among the papers of Principal Wortley (UCN/A/6/5). These files contain correspondence and committee minutes.  

Next Page: Archives related to the University 

Manuscripts and Special Collections

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