Welcoming new students

We have been welcoming students to our Guildford campus since the late 1960s, and to our predecessor institution Battersea Polytechnic (renamed Battersea College of Technology in 1957) since the 1890s.

Battersea Freshers’ Handbooks. (Ref Nos UA/SW/1/14/1-3)

In celebration of new and returning students arriving in Guildford we have been taking a look at some of the publications that have been given to new students over the years to help them get the most from their new life on campus. We have also been looking through photographs of moving-in days and student accommodation.

We have chosen some of these items to feature in our new Research Room exhibition. We are only able to display a small selection of material from our archive collections, but we have tried to capture the different styles and designs which have been employed over the last 60 years.

Photograph of Research Room display showing Freshers’ Handbooks.
Photograph of Research Room display showing moving-in day and student accommodation photographs.

The handbooks produced by the Students Union aimed to provide the new student with everything they needed to know about the first few weeks of student life. They contain a wide range of information about the Union, student services, clubs and societies, social activities and food and drink on campus, and in the local area.

Battersea Students Union Handbooks. (Ref no. UA/SW/1/14/1)
Inside of University of Surrey Students Union Handbook 1971 – 1972 showing an A-Z of what you needed to know for student life on campus. (Ref no. SU/5/1/6)

The handbooks provide a fascinating insight into the student experiences that were offered at different points in the University’s history. It is also possible utilise them to track wider social issues, with subjects such as health, wellbeing and finance becoming more prominent in later years.

If you are interested in viewing these items or other documents that are held in the University Archive please email us at archives@surrey.ac.uk for further information and to book an appointment.

University of Surrey Student Union Handbook 1976/77. (Ref no. SU/5/1/11)