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Archives of the University Centre, 1962 - 2011

 Fonds — Container: UC
Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/UC

Scope and Contents

These are the papers assembled by the General Manager, University Centre, relating chiefly to operational oversight, the marketing of services and structural and financial review.


  • 1962 - 2011


Conditions Governing Access

The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (

Biographical / Historical

From the late 1940s, the need was recognised for an institution to help provide social integration of all senior members who served the University, possibly with the character of a club. At the same time, the lack of accommodation and relative isolation of a growing graduate student population was only partly resolved in 1962 by the formation of the Graduate Society, temporarily housed in Fitzwilliam House. The Syndicate on the relationship between the University and the Colleges (known as the Bridges Syndicate) reported to the University in March 1962 (accepted Grace 2, 17 November 1962). Among its recommendations was the proposal that a centre be established to meet the social needs of graduate staff and graduate students, especially those without College affiliation. Architects Howell, Killick, Partridge and Amis were thereafter appointed to design a building on a site bounded by Granta Place, Mill Lane and Little St Mary's Lane which would include dining and common rooms, bar, table-tennis, billiards and music rooms, kitchen, car-park and roof-terrace. The majority of the cost was met by a grant from the Wolfson Foundation of £333,000 and the building came into service in September 1967. At first a Warden, assisted by a Catering Manager, under a Committee of Management, was responsible for all the Centre's activities. In January 1983, the committee was replaced by a University Centre Syndicate supported by an Executive Committee. The office of Warden was suppressed from September 1983 and day to day oversight assumed by a General Manager. In August 1985, a redrawn University Centre Syndicate and Management Committee replaced the previous bodies. Both were abolished in January 2001 and responsibility transferred to the Registrary with input from a User Group. In 2009, the University Centre merged with Estate Management and Building Service Division as part of the Unified Administrative Service. Membership has been extended down the decades to embrace all staff, students and visiting scholars and facilities broadened to include nursery, fitness centre and conference suites. Catering provision has extended to functions of all kinds and to other sites, including the University Combination Room, University Library, Sidgwick Buttery and new buildings in West Cambridge. Further information on the origins of the University Centre is in three reports, 'Planning for a University Centre', published by the Council of the Senate in Cambridge University Reporter on 22 May 1963, 11 December 1963 and 27 April 1966.


4 linear metre(s) : paper, photograph

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records were transferred to the University Archives by Jamie Brittain, Site Supervisor, on 5 August 2013.

Related Materials

See also, among the University Archives, records of the Graduate Society (classmark: UA Grad.Soc.), Registry (UA R252/ /1967, R2416/A/1982, R3331/A-B/1955, R3841), Financial Board (UA FB 930, FB CH930), Estate Management Division (UA EMBS 41/2), University Centre Management Committee 1962-7 (UA Min.VII.65).


The online catalogue was completed in November 2013.

Date information

DateText: bulk dates from 1985 onwards.


University Centre

Finding aid date

2013-11-13 15:19:49+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom