Lithographic printing London
In 1894 the Saint Bride Foundation Institute Printing School opened in Saint Bride Lane as a social, educational and cultural centre, housing both a technical library and printing school to provide tuition for local printers and students. At the same time another of LCC's forebears, the Guild and Technical School, opened in Clerkenwell Road, moving the follow year to 6 Bolt Court. It became the Bolt Court Technical School and was rebuilt in 1911. It was renamed London County Council School of Photo-Engraving and Lithography.
In 1921 the Westminster Day Continuation School opened, becoming the School of Retail Distribution 1929. The class about to graduate in 1939 were called up and sent back to the Stamford Street building where they spent the war years making glass scale graticule to fit into various types of optical gunsights, submarine periscope lenses and the like.
In 1949 Bolt Court and the London School of Printing merged forming the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts. In 1962 this was renamed the London College of Printing (LCP) and moved to a new campus at Elephant & Castle. The North Western Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University) printing department merged with LCP in 1969.
The College of Distributive Trades merged with LCP in 1990 becoming the London College of Printing and Distributive Trades, renamed the London College of Printing in 1996.
In 2003 the London Institute was granted university status as the University of the Arts London with LCP becoming the London College of Communication in 2004.
Galleries, collections and lectures
LCC has extensive exhibition space, photographic and television studios, darkrooms, interactive media and animation suites, broadcast and print newsrooms as well as specialist printing, printmaking, bookbinding and letterpress workshops.
In 2007, the college became the home of the University Archives and Special Collections Centre which holds the Stanley Kubrick Archive and the Tom Eckersley collection among other film, printing and graphic design related archives and collections. Since 2005 the LCC has hosted the annual Hugh Cudlipp lecture.
Cutbacks and closures
LCC had student protests and sit-ins in November 2009, as students expressed anger over proposed course closures and staff redundancies. About 100 students tried to occupy the office of Sandra Kemp, head of the college at that time, in protest over lack of supervision for dissertations. Students later occupied a lecture theatre and private security guards tried to remove protesting students. This failed when a member of academic staff questioned their right to touch the students and police were summoned who prevailed upon the protesters to leave the building. Several students faced disciplinary action, including suspension.
The director of the university's course in public relations resigned over the proposed cutbacks, saying that there weren't enough staff. Much of the teaching was then supplied by sessional lecturers on short-term contracts, A member of the teaching staff said that sackings resulted in cancelled lectures and students left without dissertation supervisors.
In 2011 an inquiry by the Quality Assurance Agency into restructuring at the LCC, found standards were so badly affected by course closures that some students’ marks were raised to compensate. The report follows complaints by students relating to restructuring, including claims that quality had been 'severely compromised' and that those studying were not informed of the plans before enrolment. The investigation is the first of its kind and is the QAA’s revised “whistleblower” process for investigating concerns about academic standards and quality. The decision to investigate the complaints followed closure of 16 courses and 26 full-time redundancies.
Among the alumni of the college are Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International;Jane Root, former controller of BBC Two; the advertising executive and art collector Charles Saatchi; and the cartoonist and illustrator Ralph Steadman.