Bishop's Stortford College was founded in 1868 and there are many artefacts which have been collected over the years, including all copies of the school magazine 'The Stortfordian' since its first issue. These are kept in the Senior School College Library.
On one side of the upper gallery there are four glass fronted wall cabinets which display some of our memorabilia, and the rest is stored in cupboards or in the archive room.
The Old Stortfordian book collection (books written by or about Old Stortfordians or the College) is now included on the main library computer catalogue and books are displayed on the gallery.
Photographs, concert and theatre programmes, sporting events, etc., have been sorted into labelled boxes, and the photograph albums and other donated items are carefully stored. All items are readily available on request. Many photographs are available in digital form and can be viewed on the Bishop's Stortford heritage website; please ask the Librarian or the Old Stortfordian office for a username and password.
The librarians receive frequent visits, telephone calls and letters from Old Stortfordians and others researching their family history.
We also have a collection of books written by Old Stortfordians.
History of the Library
The library was built in 1936 as a permanent memorial to F.S. Young, Headmaster of the College from 1900 to 1931. Its architect was Mr R.C. Foster. It was administered by a succession of masters until 1991 when the Governors made the decision to modernise it and employ a full-time librarian who took up the appointment in September 1992.
This was the beginning of a policy designed to provide the whole College with an Information Resources Centre second to none in the area.
Traditionally the library has been the central resource to access information largely through paper, i.e. books, periodicals and newspapers. Since 1992 it has been refurbished, the impressive high-ceilinged room was completely renovated with carpeting and low chairs enhancing the panelled walls and oak shelving to provide a welcoming and pleasing environment in which students are encouraged to study or read. A fully computerised catalogue and barcode e system was installed and major expansion took place in the Reference and Fiction sections. ICT workstations were also installed to supplement the extended range of paper-based information. A wide range of newspapers, journals and magazines covering both leisure and academic interests were made available.
With the unveiling of the 1995/96 Development Appeal the Governors decided that Phase 2, the Library Expansion should go ahead. This involved the expansion and updating of the library's current computer provision, its stock of books and its audio-visual resources. Linked galleries and a walkway on both wings of the library at first-floor level provided additional space for mobile and fixed bookshelves and also for display cases containing the College's extensive and unique Archive collection. The 'new look' Library Resource Centre now has additional study facilities, computers, internet and email facilities, and a DVD and CD library.
Since April 1997 there have been two qualified librarians assisted by evening/weekend supervisors, and between them they ensure that the library is fully supervised for 70 hours a week to provide research facilities and assistance for students and staff