So that they may have life projects

So that they may have life was an 18 month project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, dedicated to the archives and early history of the University of Leicester. Archives and Special Collections have worked with a team of community volunteers and students to tell our University's story and make our archives more accessible to the public. The results are a series of online exhibitions, eight short documentary films, enhanced archive catalogues, and a set of learning resources for primary schools. 

Completed remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, each online exhibition represents a virtual gallery space within a digital museum of the history of the University of Leicester. So that they may have life: Stories from the University Archives showcases research telling stories of our founding and early history. Every Picture Tells a Story showcases the work of our team of archive volunteers, describing how they have improved our catalogue records and made new discoveries along the way. 

During the Summer, the team were joined by a team of students from the School of Museum Studies. Their first exhibit tells our founding story through an iconic object in our archives, The Golden Book, and the gifts of money and objects that it records. Mary Attenborough: The Hidden History takes the story into the 1930s with a focus on an important and often overlooked figure in our early history. Our final two exhibits celebrate the contribution of the thousands of students who have been part of the University's story since our foundation. A Bridge from Then to Now: Heritage and the Sylvia Dowling Letters places centre stage an extraordinary series of correspondence from one of our 1950s alumni. Bringing the story to the present day, 100 Years of Student Life is a web and app based walking tour of the campus which shares stories of students past and present and their connection with our campus. 

Supporting the exhibitions and walking tour are a series of learning resources aimed at Key Stage 2 students.

Every Picture Tells a Story

University of Leicester coat of arms

What is metadata and why do we need it? An exhibition showcasing the work of our archives volunteers. 

So That They May Have Life: Stories from the University Archives

University of Leicester coat of arms

Hidden histories from our archives, uncovered by the So that they may have life research team. Introduction by Dr Yewande Okuleye, Research...

Our Golden Beginnings

Golden Book.jpg

'Our Golden Beginnings' is an online exhibition on the philanthropic origins of the University of Leicester in the early 1900s....

Mary Attenborough: The Hidden History

Mary Attenborough (2).mp4

An exhibition telling the 'hidden history' of Mary Attenborough: an humanitarian, advocate for equal rights, supporter of arts and culture,...

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

Slyvia-Dowling letters.jpg

The Sylvia Dowling letters, written by the student Sylvia Dowling in the late 1950s, offers both a rare glimpse into...

100 years of student life

A walking tour give you a true insight into the University: its history, facilities and the student experience. The tour can also be accessed via The Clio mobile app....

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