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Institutional Archives

Explore Your Archive: Feedback on the Value of Archives

16 November 2015

We’re incredibly grateful to members of the Students’ Union for providing some lovely feedback on Cardiff University’s Institutional Archives for Explore Your Archive. Their feedback illustrates the range of values which archives can have for business, for individuals and for society. They can help to improve current business, can be intellectually stimulating, and can evoke strong emotional reactions. The University has a fascinating, and sometimes inspiring, heritage which can be discovered by exploring the Institutional Archive.

We really enjoyed reading the statements below and hope they will encourage others to explore archives.

Millicent "Hetty" MacKenzie, the UK's first female professor [Ref. UCC/Misc/P/55]
Millicent “Hetty” MacKenzie, the UK’s first female professor

“We should never forget those who made Cardiff University what it is today. Through the work of Cardiff University Archives, I’ve loved discovering those who came before me as a both a student and member of staff. I’ve heard sacrifices made by those fighting in wars or gaining ground on other fronts such as Millicent Mackenzie, the first woman professor in the UK. I’ve seen incredible photos that have shown me that despite the years that separate us, I walk the same hallways as many great scientists and rather dashing sports players from the 1930s. The history of Cardiff University is woven with stories of people who define how we see ourselves today. A University forged through innovation and sacrifice, determination and creativity. It’s brilliant that I’ve been able to find out things that have happened here, so that I can be proud I was from Cardiff University as well.”

“Having visited the archives and seen what students activities were being advertised 30-40 years ago has actually helped us improve the current range of activities we offer at the Students’ Union.”

“Visiting the archives was an absolutely fascinating experience. It was so interesting to see what has (and hasn’t!) changed about Cardiff in the last 100 years.”

“Looking through the Cardiff University archives was one of the most eye opening experiences of the year. It really helps put everything in perspective.”

Students' Union Officers, 1933
Students’ Union Officers, 1933

“After looking in the Archives, I was astounded that the issues that faced students years ago weren’t as different as I thought that they would be; there are so many stories and pictures from years ago in the archives which easily could have been from the students of today.”

“It’s very easy to be caught up in the present day and not consider that the students of today are part of a bigger picture of the University’s history. We are all part of this history and that is a great thing to know more about considering that each individual student is part of a history that we all share.”

Students on the Students' Union balcony, from the UCC 1981/82 Prospectus
Students on the Students’ Union balcony, from the UCC 1981/82 Prospectus