Dorothy arrived in Manchester in 1939 from Lithuania with the aim to complete her education, this seemed an excellent place to begin my research about Dorothy’s time in Manchester.
Dorothy studied at Manchester College of Technology, formally UMIST, now part of Manchester University, from 1940 to 1942. Here Dorothy gained the College’s qualification in Photography as well as an additional City & Guilds Final Certificate in Photography. As a student myself I was very keen to know more about Dorothy’s time at University. I began by scouring the Manchester Local Image Collection online (which is accessible to all and based in the Archives service at Manchester Central Library) for any photographic evidence of the college from the years when Dorothy attended.
The images I found in this collection of the college are really quite beautiful; the links to these images will hopefully be brought to this site very soon.
Next I visited the University of Manchester Archives hopeful that they would have some record of Dorothy, and let me say I was certainly not disappointed! With the help of archivist James Peters I searched through bundles of old records before discovering Dorothy’s name on a class list as Dorothea Israelit, Dorothy’s Jewish Lithuanian family name. I also found prospectuses from before and after Dorothy’s time at the University, as there were none printed during the war, showing the outline of the college’s photography course. I also found documents showing the vocational exam timetable for Dorothy’s final year and was thrilled to find Dorothy’s results from this year too! These records show that in her final year Dorothy gained 86 points in pure photography and an average of 72.3. Finally I discovered a certificate which shows that in this final year Dorothy singularly won the schools photography prize seeing her receive £200.
I hope to bring images of these items to this page soon so you too can share my thrill of finding Dorothy’s name hidden deep within the archives and learning more about her University years.