International Women’s Day 2018 – The women behind the buildings: Mary Badland

If you’re based at Collegiate, chances are you’ve found yourself in Mary Badlands lecture theatre at some point, but have you ever thought about who the namesake actually was?

Although we only know it as the lecture theatre today, when the library at Collegiate first opened in 1976 it was named the Mary Badland Library.

Mary was an innovative and influential figure in education. She trained as a teacher at the University of Manchester, worked as a headmistress, and in the 1960s became involved in the development of the City College of Education – which then became Sheffield City Polytechnic, and then finally Sheffield Hallam University.

Throughout her career Mary was an advocate for teacher training, and the value that should be placed on teachers’ influence of the development of young people. She also took what was perceived at the time as a liberal approach to education that focussed on the individual and their needs.

It’s thanks to Mary that what we now know as Collegiate Library exists today – she persistently requested that a new library was built, and eventually it was!

This information was taken from the pamphlet produced by Sheffield City Polytechnic when the library opened. It’s part of our library’s Special Collection where we have a wealth of fascinating resources relating to the history of Sheffield Hallam University.