AA Archives: 1905-1908 Evening School Register discovered


The AA only reluctantly gives up its secrets… Although the Archives have now been established for just over 4 years, new material periodically still emerges from the  cupboards, filing cabinets, attic spaces and hidden caches of ‘storage’ within the AA’s buildings. Most recently, Sabrina Blakstad,  the AA’s Student Aid & Qualifications Officer, brought down to the Archives a folder containing what, on closer inspection, turned out to be the student attendance register for the AA Evening School, 1905-08.


The AA’s Evening School begun with a loose network of classes that members organised for themselves in the 1860s and 70s and which were then formalised in the 1880s and 90s, alongside the development of the RIBA examination system. At the time of this Register, the recently opened Day School providing an initial 2 years of training which could then be continued for a further 2 years at the Evening School, leading to exemption from the RIBA Intermediate examination. What makes this register so significant is that prior to its discovery, no record existed of who actually attended the Evening School during this period. A quick flip through the pages reveals many well known names, including that of Clough Williams-Ellis and his brother, the sculptor, David Williams Ellis, who both attended the Watercolour Class in 1904-5