The Bergman Österberg UNION Archive
What is The Bergman Österberg Union Archive?
The Bergman Österberg Union Archive consists of material associated with Madame Österberg's Physical Training College, founded in Hampstead in 1885 and transferred to Dartford in 1895. An article in the Windsor Magazine of 1897 describes it as 'an institution generally regarded, by those best qualified to judge, as the most remarkable educational establishment in the world'.
Martina Bergman Österberg, a Swedish lady and an early supporter of women's suffrage in Sweden, trained at the Royal Central Gymnastic Institute in Stockholm. She was appointed to the London School Board in 1881. Physical training, following the scientific method of Per Henrik Ling, was not, however, her primary aim. Her objective was female emancipation; social, economic and spiritual freedom for women. Training at her College was a liberating experience and from this 'singular seminary', the early pioneers emerged to influence other educational establishments nationally and internationally.
The Bergman Österberg Union Archive provides information on this exceptional woman, her famous College, which was the first of its kind, and the achievements of the young women who were educated there. Having discarded the restrictive corset, which most women regarded as an essential garment, and in their distinctive gym tunics, a daring design created at the College in 1892 (and later to be worn by nearly every school girl) Madame's Girls went out as pioneers to change the world for women.
What does the Bergman Österberg Union Archive contain?
This collection relates specifically to The Bergman Österberg Physical Training College (later known as Dartford College of Physical Education), from its foundation in 1885 to its closure as a specialist college in 1986. There are books, manuscripts, registers, certificates, badges, trophies, many photographs, letters, newspaper cuttings, uniform, magazines, clothing lists, details of royal visits, portraits of international sportswomen etc., covering one hundred years of exceptional change for women and for women's education.
The material is relevant to:
· Teacher Training
· Physical Education and Sport
· Women's Studies
· Women Pioneers
· Women in Education
· Local History of Dartford
The Bergman Österberg Union Archive provides a vivid picture of the College's part in developing a new way forward for women, enshrined in its maxim 'A Sound Mind in a Sound Body'. As well as containing material for serious research, it is also a source of pleasure and often incredulity, to anybody interested in that very special life lived by every set of students trained by, or influenced by Madame Österberg at her College.
How can you use The Bergman Österberg Union Archive?
The Bergman Österberg Union Archive is housed at the Dartford Campus of North West Kent College. If you wish to use the Archive, please contact the Archivist, Rosemary Moon:
Bergman Österberg Union Archive
North West Kent College
Admission to The Bergman Österberg Union Archive is free of charge to all those who are genuinely interested in researching the subject areas it covers. Access to personal data for research purposes is only allowed after signing an agreement acknowledging compliance with the Data Protection Act.
Visitors will be asked to sign a visitors' book and will be invited to make a donation towards the maintenance of the Archive.
The Bergman Österberg Union Archive isopen from 10.00am until 4.00pm on Wednesdays and at other times by appointment with Rosemary Moon.mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
The official Bergman Österberg Union Archive blog can be found here.
This page is maintained by Rosemary Moon
Last reviewed June 2012