A Bridge from Then to Now: Heritage and the Sylvia Dowling Letters

The Sylvia Dowling letters, written by the student Sylvia Dowling in the late 1950s, offers both a rare glimpse into the early days of the University of Leicester, while at the same time chronicling the academic and social experiences of students at this time. We hope you find the contents of these letters as endearing and captivating as we do, and we hope that they shed light on some of the intriguing and relatable qualities of student life that have persisted throughout the decades. Our ultimate goal and rationale for this exhibition is to bridge the disconnect between the past and present, and eliminate the presumption that the students who went to the University of Leicester in the past were inherently different from present-day students. We are confident that former students and present students alike regardless of age and background will find something in these letters to relate to, and in doing so, that will make the concepts of ‘heritage’ and ‘history’ less ambiguous and more personal and meaningful to them.

The exhibition will be seperated into the several categories including Sylvia’s academic life, her social life, her hall life, and a very special visit to the University from the Queen.

We have also taken the liberty of providing many original art pieces to accompany Syvlia's experiences. These images take the form of sketches and doodles that serve to compliment several of the authentic doodles Sylvia provided in her letters. 

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Exhibition created by Matthew Cook, Yidan Wang, and Bethany Lynch