Teachers College Scrapbook

The University Archives holds an interesting collection of photographs accumulated by the Adelaide Teachers College. Generations of primary and secondary teachers were schooled in this institution, which originated in 1876 as the Teachers Training School. A summary of its changes of name and location can be found here.

Series 838 – Adelaide Teachers College Photographs and Newscuttings is by no means a comprehensive pictorial history of the College – more of a scrapbook.   Nonetheless it contains some wonderful images including these, circa 1885 and 1905 respectively:


'Teachers Training College' students with first Principal, Lewis B. Madley (seated right).


Students with 'University Training College' Principal, H.P. Gill.


Between 1921 and 1927 the Teachers College was located in the old Police Barracks, behind the Museum. The mid-twenties, however, saw the construction on Kintore Avenue of a beautiful Mission style building for the College. Known now as the Hartley Building after influential early educationalist John Hartley, the newly completed College is captured in these shots:

New Teachers College, looking east from Kintore Avenue.


New Teachers College looking north.


New Teachers College looking south.


We also have these snaps from the ‘thirties – likely taken on a box Brownie camera or similar – of student hockey and basketball teams. The last, a young man with a loud hailer, is captioned ‘an enthusiastic cheerleader’, suggesting the influence of American culture long before television. At the same time the College houses and sporting teams were known as ‘Athens’ and ‘Sparta’, reflecting perhaps an enduring strain of classical education in the secondary and tertiary curricula of the time:

Women's Hockey Team, Jubilee Oval, 1933.


Men's Hockey Team, 1933 (note 'Sparta' banner and Exhibition Building dome in background).


'The Champion Goal Thrower', 1933.


'An Enthusiastic Cheerleader', 1933.

From the early 1950s there is this sweet, slightly self-conscious photo of students in  the Teachers College common room. It all looks very civilized with records being played, books read, and women doing needlework:

'Common, Common Room Radiogram, 1952'.

Lastly, two Adelaide street scenes: one a magnificent image of a figure outside the long gone Exhibition Building on North Terrace, another from a set of photographs taken around Rundle Street in the early 1970s. They’re not necessarily directly connected to the Teachers College (archival collections sometimes contain such oddities, the origins of or rationale for inclusion having been lost), but are interesting nonetheless:

Exhibition Building with University and Museum in background, circa 1890.

Corner of Frome Road and Rundle Street, early 1970s.


A list of the numerous series that make up the University Archives’ significant collection of records related to the Adelaide Teachers College in it’s various forms can be found here.


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3 Responses

  1. Hannes Griesser says:

    Awesome picture of Exhibition Building, it was certainly an impressive structure, to think they knocked it down to make way for Napier, one of the ugliest buildings ever constructed. That top photo of Hartley looks like its been left-right inverted (the hill slopes the wrong way).

  2. Andrew Cook says:

    Yep, a lot of people think that Hannes. I’ve been meaning to put up some news cuttings from 1961/62 when the Exhibition Building was being demolished – I think it was considered too expensive to repair. As they say, you don’t know what you’ve got ’till its gone. Thanks for the tip too on the Hartley photo – I’ll check it. Andrew

  3. Susie COlho says:

    Hi there! Nice stuff, please do tell me when you lastly post something like this!