The College News, A Quarterly Magazine


This magazine was founded by Frances Martin, an influential foundress of the College for Working Women (Queen Square, Bloomsbury) which was to take Martin’s name following her death. (For more information about the College for Working Women — later the Frances Martin College for Women — see the article, ‘College for Working Women‘, on the UCL Bloomsbury Project website.) Twelve years after the founding of the college, Martin decided that there was a need for a magazine for the benefit of its students and teachers. It was also to be open to external contributors who supported the college.

There are two issues of The College News, A Quarterly Magazine. There are three (extant) copies of the first issue, one of which is in Martin’s own handwriting (she acted as the magazine’s Editor for the first two issues). This is only seven pages, six of which comprise Martin’s ‘Address to the Readers’. Essentially, it is a prospectus for a new journal and lays out the need for a magazine that would act as a means of communication between students and teachers, and to share news about the college and its activities. In addition, she makes suggestions for other features for future issues: a section on the current business climate; the ‘News of the Quarter’ on college classes, meetings and socials; a ‘Personal News’ column on marriages, births, deaths, emigrations and promotions; and ‘Illustrations and Original Contributions’, that would include poetry, prose and artwork. The remaining page announces a forthcoming reading by the actress, Mrs Bernard Beere, that was to be held at the college, and a list of the type of ‘Contributions Requested’.

The second issue was produced eight months later and has twenty-one contributions, which include a variety of materials: there are non-fiction articles, essays, various club and society reports, a travel piece accompanied by by original pen-and-ink illustrations, two acrostic puzzles, along with various cuttings from presumably other College printed publications, and a newspaper cutting of an obituary reporting on the death of a senior administrator. There was also a writing contest with prizes of books offered for the best essays. It appears that these were the only two issues produced under by the College for Working Women.

Another college magazine appeared in print in December 1911 entitled, A Reminiscence of the College for Working Women. The ‘Introduction’ makes clear that it was the first issue and was instigated by the College Chairman so as to compare favourably with other institutions who produced their own journals. While this magazine was getting under way, the two earlier issues were discovered, and a decision was made to reproduce them in print as one (truncated and re-organised) issue. The earlier manuscript magazines were presented as a ‘prelude to the new journal.

The first official issue of this new magazine was called Our Magazine and appeared in print in January 1913 costing one penny. This issue contains a combination of reports notices of college events and activites, anecdotes and accounts of past events, and only one original story. It is predominantly devoted to correspondence, with 21 extracts from students’ letters.

Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine

Working Women’s College (later became the Frances Martin College for Women) (London)

Date of Existence

1874-1957 (in 1957, lease expired at 7 Fitzroy Street; moved to working men’s college building in Crowndale Road, NW1)

Date of Magazine

The College News, A Quarterly Magazine: Mar. 1886; Nov. 1886; A Reminiscence of the College for Working Women: Dec. 1911; Our Magazine: Jan. 1913

(Note: another magazine was produced in 1927-28, Chronicle of the Frances Martin College)

Number of Issues

4 (total number produced by the college under different titles during the period under study)

Manuscript/Published Magazine

Manuscript, later issues in print

Contents and Contributions

Address; Art/Illustrations (original); Articles (non-fiction); Class reports; Clippings (printed material); Correspondence column; Editorials;  Essays; Extracts of students’ letters; Lists of forthcoming events; Lists of Prizes and Certificates; Newspaper clippings; Notices; Notices (printed); Poem (republished material); Preface; Puzzles; Reports; Report (Debating Society); Tables of Class Attendance; Tables of Contents; Tables of Students’ Occupations; Title pages


London Metropolitan Archives


A/FMC/CM/001; A/FMC/CM/004;
A/FMC/CM/005; A/FMC/CM/006a;
(1927-28 issue: A/FMC/CM/007a)