Celebrating Archives: King Edward School Archives, Birmingham

Crest of the Schools of King Edward VI
20 Sep, 2018

Celebrating Archives: King Edward School Archives, Birmingham

RQG member Linda Newey approached The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham (KES) several years ago, when researching a former pupil.  She states “My first enquiries were answered by email, when the archivist Alison provided me with copious information including a pupil record card and digitalized copies of the school journal.  A few years later, I was able to attend the archive in person, and again, Alison helped to provide access to School Lists, KES Governor’s Report Books and KES Birmingham Governors Order Books.  These records provided invaluable detail regarding my former pupil, and helped describe his time and progress at the school.  The origin of this wonderful private archive and the services offered are described as follows:

The King Edward’s Foundation Archive is a considerable collection of records relating to the Foundation’s history. The archive includes material dating from before 1552, when the first King Edward’s School was founded in Birmingham, to the present day. Indeed, the earliest surviving document in the collection is a License granted by Richard II, dated 10th July 1382.

The principal collections reflect the organisation and development of the Foundation and its schools in the city, including several elementary schools established in the 18th century, which no longer exist.  Alongside King Edward VI’s original Charter of 1552, admissions registers, governors’ minutes, maps, plans, letters, photographs and school magazines all help to tell the story of one of Birmingham’s oldest surviving institutions.

The King Edward’s Foundation Archive is currently being made available as a unique new online resource.  Given the size of the collection, and the number of schools belonging to the Foundation, the digital archive is an on-going project, with new collections being added to the website periodically. The digital archive has been made possible by the extraordinary kindness and generosity of Margaret Davis, a former pupil of King Edward VI High School for Girls.

Academic researchers, genealogists and local historians are more than welcome to visit the Foundation Archive. Applications to consult the records in person should be addressed to the Foundation Archivist, Alison Wheatley, giving details of the proposed topic of research.  Please note that all research undertaken in the archive will be supervised and certain records will be closed for a set period of time due to confidentiality and Data Protection legislation. “

Alison can be contacted by email at aw@kes.org.uk, or by telephone on 0121 472 1147.

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Anne Sherman