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Leicester Special Collections

Creation of 'The Golden Book'

The Creation of the Golden Book

The Golden Book was created between 1918-25 by the City School of Arts and Crafts (now known as De Montfort University). This was used to commemorate those who had donated to help fund the University scheme as a ‘living memorial’ to those who fought in the First World War.

Letter about the work effort of the Golden Book, from the secretary, 1922

The surviving correspondence in the University Archives shows the amount of effort and work that was put into the production and content for the Golden Book.  Significant effort went into making sure the list of names and donations were accurate, as it will be recorded ‘for all time’. It shows the significance of representing those individuals, families and local businesses who built up the university that stands today.

Handwritten list of donation for the Golden Book, 1923

The amount of artistic skill that was put into the design, production and making of the Golden Book just shows how significant it was to the University. The letters reveal that the City School of Arts and Crafts did not charge at all for the materials used in making of the book. A letter was also written to the Duke of Rutland to ask permission to use the Rutland Coat of Arms which they were permitted to use.

Letter about the design of the Golden Book, 1921

This book remains in the University Archives today and honours those who donated what they had to the University in the early 1900s. You can access the digital copy of the Golden Book on our Special Collections Online.

Your Golden Book

Please take a moment to consider if you created your own personal Golden Book:

  • Who would be in your Golden Book?
  • What did they give for you? 


Golden Book, University of Leicester Archives, ULA/HIS/FOU/1

Correspondence of Golden Book, University of Leicester Archives, ULA/AD/G13