Library and Learning Services


The Library is currently involved in two National Lottery Heritage Fund projects being led by our Archives and Special Collections team. Our History and Unlocking our Sound Heritage in partnership with the British Library.

Our History

The University was founded in 1921 as Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland College. The College was conceived as a ‘living memorial’ to the sacrifices of local people during the First World War. During its early years, it comprised a small community of students and staff. It was funded through the philanthropic gifts of local people with many of the students drawn from the local area. Official University status was granted by Royal Charter in 1957.

‘So that they may have life’ is a community heritage project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to engage new audiences with the history and archives of the University. The purpose of the project is to engage students, staff, alumni, and the wider community beyond the University of Leicester in making our foundation story and early history better recorded and more widely known

Unlocking our Sound Heritage

Unlocking our Sound Heritage is a UK-wide project that will help save the nation’s sounds and open them up to everyone and is part of the Save our Sounds programme, a partnership project led by the British Library, with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, that involves ten regional hubs across the UK. The project aims to preserve and provide access to as much as possible of the nation's rare and unique sound recordings.

The Midlands Hub for the project is based at the University of Leicester and is covering Birmingham, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Listen to Leicester recordings on Special Collections Online part of the East Midlands Oral History Archive.

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