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On March 12, 1902, the Owens College completes its celebrations of the jubilee of its opening on March 12, 1851, and the present volume is of the nature of a Festschrift. The birth and majority of the College were both marked by the publication of collections of essays and addresses. But these were miscellaneous and occasional in character, and the writers were drawn exclusively from the professorial staff. It is, perhaps, some measure of the progress which the institution has made within the last quarter of a century that a single department should be able to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary by a volume which at least aims at being a substantial contribution to the knowledge of the subject with which it is concerned, and more than threefourths of which is the work of past students not upon the teaching staff. Of the twenty essays contained in this volume, no less than sixteen have been written by former students, each of whom has spent three years or more in attendance on the College courses. Of these sixteen, three are also graduates of Oxford, and one of Cambridge, while at least four have pursued their studies further in French, German, or Italian Universities. The remaining four articles have been contributed by teachers not educated at the College, but who have devoted periods varying from twelve years to thirty to its service.
The studies which bulk largest in the newer Universities and Colleges of England are naturally those which are of a scientific, technical, or professional character. The Owens College is no exception to this rule, nor would it wish to be.
That the historical students of the College should have undertaken the special commemoration of its jubilee is more or less of an accident, and there are many other larger departments which might with even fuller appropriateness have taken a similar part in the celebration. But there is, perhaps, a special reason for the former students of history coming forward on an occasion which is to be marked by the opening of the last and greatest of the benefactions of the late Richard Copley Christie, virtually the first Professor of History at Owens College. The central feature of the celebrations in March 1902 will be the opening of the Whitworth Hall by the Prince of Wales. This structure is due to the liberality of Mr. Christie, to whom the College is already deeply indebted, among other things, for the spacious Christie Library, and for not the least precious part of its contents.
History has occupied a prominent place in the studies of the Owens College almost from its inception. In no small measure this must be attributed to the good fortune which gave the College, as successive professors of the subject, men of the distinction of the late Mr. Christie and Dr. A. W. Ward, both of whom are worthily represented in the ensuing pages. Fifty years ago history was but one of the many subjects with which the Professor of Classics, the late Dr. Greenwood, was overburdened. A new era opened with its separation from classics in 1854, and the creation of a new Chair whose first occupant was Mr. Christie. But history was still combined with several other related subjects, and Mr. Christie was also engaged in an extensive practice at the local Chancery Bar. It needed the enthusiasm for learning of a disciple of Mark Pattison to be able under such conditions to hold up the ideal of historical research as well as of historical teaching, which his successors hope has never since been lost sight of.
On the appointment of Dr. Ward in 1866, Law and Political Economy passed into other hands, though the new
Some account of Mr. Christie's work at Owens College is given in Dr. W. A. Shaw's memoir of him prefixed to the recently published Selected Essays and Papers of Richard Copley Christie (London, 1902).