Archives and Special Collections

Our History

Plans were announced in 1917 for a new college of higher education in Leicester, as a memorial to the sacrifices made by local people during the First World War. Funded by donations from local benefactors and bereaved families, the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland University College opened its doors in 1921 to a small number of students drawn from the local area.

The College took the motto, ut vitam habeant ('so that they may have life').

'So that they may have life'

This community project, which ran from 2020-21, uncovered and shared stories from the founding and early history of the University of Leicester.

Working with volunteers the project explored our archives and made new discoveries about the people and events that have shaped our University.

Our activities

  • Improving the preservation and access to archive material about the University.
  • Researching the foundation and development of the University.
  • Running activities and events to celebrate the history of the University, including heritage training sessions.

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