150th Publication

Watercolour painted by architect John Pollard Seddon in 1871


Watercolour painted by architect John Pollard Seddon in 1871 showing his vision for transforming the Castle Hotel into the home of the first University College in Wales. Photograph by Rolant Dafis.

From the original minute book kept by our Founders to early teaching aids, works of art and space exploration instruments, the University has a remarkable collection of objects marking different periods in our history.

You can find out more about these and other treasures in a special book which we’re publishing as part of our 150th anniversary celebrations in 2022-23.

It will be an illustrated volume, with striking full-page images of 150 different objects reflecting aspects of the remarkable story of the first University College in Wales.

Most of the objects come from the University's own collections - our Archives, our School of Art’s Museum, and from academic departments across all Faculties.

Some objects have also come from alumni, and others courtesy of two of our major national institutions - the National Library of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum of Wales.

Each object will be accompanied by a short text written by a range of people with close links to the University including present and past staff, students and supporters.

Some contributors have chosen to tell their story in the form of a short article, others have penned poetry or a creative response.

Some of the stories may be familiar while others may surprise but all will entertain and inform. Together, they highlight major milestones in the history of the University as well as the stories of the people who have worked or studied here since October 1872.

Twenty-five students arrived at the beginning of that very first term and the name of each and every one has been carefully handwritten in a substantial leather-bound register - another of the objects featured in the book.

We will be launching our hard back anniversary volume on Founders' Day Friday 14 October 2022, exactly 150 years since we opened our doors. The book will then be available to buy for £25 through the University, high street bookshops or online.

For further details, please contact fasstaff@aber.ac.uk