The University of London celebrates the 150th anniversary of its first Charter in 1986, and this history has been produced in commemoration of the occasion. One of the leading universities in the world, and the largest universities in the United Kingdom, the University of London is a many-headed federation of different institutions. This sketch of its developing shape, structure and role, incorporates many well chosen illustrations encapsulating the range of activities and institutions constituting a great federal university.Attention is paid to the earlier teaching institutions, especially the medical shoos attached to London's hospitals. The activities of the expanding metropolitan and imperial university are surveyed throughout Victorian times. The major reconstruction of 1900 which began the organic link between the various colleges forming the federal university is covered, and all the subsequent changes of the twentieth century are outlined. The background to the present difficult period of 'cuts' and restructuring is indicated.This illustrated history is a lively and well-informed overview of a complex institution or, more properly, an interwoven series of institutions and activities. It should prove of interest and value to all the many students, teachers and other members of the University of London, past and present, as well as to those who seek to understand the increasingly crucial role of knowledge in modern society.
Negley Harte was educated at the London School of Economics and since 1969 has taught at University College London, where he is Senior Lecturer in Economic History. He has served as Managing Editor of the London Journal (1974-79), as Assistant Editor of the Economic History Review (1979-84), as Editor of the UCL Bulletin (1980-83), and is currently also Director of the Pasold Research Fund. With John North, he was co-author of The World of University College London, 1828-1978 (1978).