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Hoodata Introduction
Hoodata 1 (Spring 1974)
Hoodata 2 (Summer 1974)
Hoodata 3 (Autumn 1974)
Hoodata 4 (Winter 1974/75)
Hoodata 5 (Spring 1975)
Hoodata 6 (Summer 1975)
Hoodata 7 (Autumn 1975)
Hoodata 8 (Summer 1977)
Hoodata 9 (Autumn 1978)
Hoodata 2.1 (April 1980)
Hoodata 2.2 (November 1980)
Hoodata 2.3 (May 1981)
Hoodata 2.4 (December 1981)


An occasional newsletter on academic hoods Volume 2 Number 2: November 1980

Editor: R.L.D. Rees-----------------------[address removed]

Publication and Distribution

It is hoped that subsequent issues of "Hoodata" will be published at roughly six-monthly intervals. If you wish to receive a copy of the next issue, please send an addressed unstamped envelope, plus 25 pence to cover production costs and postage. You may send payment in the form of stamps (of maximum denomination 12p, please) if you wish. If you send two addressed envelopes and 50 pence, you will receive the next two issues.


In the very first issue of "Hoodata", there was a review of the available reference books on academic dress. In response to readers' requests, a new version of the review is printed here. The works of relatively recent vintage are:-

a "Academical Dress of British Universities" G.W. Shaw, publ. Heffer (Cambridge), 1966.
b "Academic Dress and Insignia of the World" H. Smith, publ. Balkema (Cape Town), 1970.
c "Academical Dress from the Middle Ages to the Present Day" C.A.H. Franklyn, publ. Baxter (Lewes), 1970.
d "The Degrees and Hoods of the World's Universities and Colleges" F.W. Haycraft. The fifth edition was revised and edited by F.R.S. Rogers, C.A.H. Franklyn, G.W. Shaw and H.A. Boyd, publ. Baxter (Lewes), 1972.
e "Academic Dress of the University of Oxford" (fifth edition) Venables and Clifford, publ. Shepherd and Woodward (Oxford), 1979.

Book a provides a useful introduction to the subject, but it was produced too early to contain information on many of the new universities. A few copies are still available, at £3.00 plus 75p for post and packing, from Dr. G.W. Shaw, [address removed]. Work e is not strictly a reference book, but it contains some excellent colour photographs. It can be obtained for 85p (including postage) from Shepherd and Woodward Ltd., [address removed]. Although b is a superb three-volume work, its price (around £45 now?) rules it out for most people. Book d "Haycraft", has always been regarded as the standard hood book. "Hoodata" came into being to serve as a sort of U.K. supplement to "Haycraft 5" which, it is believed, is now out of print.

It will be seen in the "New Hoods" section of this issue that things are beginning to get out of hand. In fact details of no fewer than fifteen further new hoods are already in the Editor's hands for the next issue. Preparation of a "Haycraft 6" is effectively an impossible task to contemplate, but a U.K.-only version might be feasible. Particularly useful would be a new edition of Shaw's book (which includes gowns), with perhaps an extension to cover other U.K. diploma-awarding institutions. Even a published supplement would be welcome. Quite apart from finding a willing publisher, a tremendous amount of work would be required.

Earlier books include:- 1st - 4th editions of "Haycraft"; "Ecclesiastical and Academical Colours" Wood, 1875; "Degrees Gowns and Hoods of British (and World) Universities" Wood, 1882; "Academic Colours" Baty, 1934. It should be possible to obtain these books from the National Central Library via your local library.


From the founder and former Editor of "Hoodata", Sqn. Ldr. A.E. Birt:

I am delighted that my friend, Mr. R.L.D. Rees, has taken over the production of "Hoodata" - I hope that he has as much fun as I had. Although I retired from the RAF in 1978, I was invited to return to uniform and so I recently rejoined. I am now at [address removed], and would be pleased to receive correspondence from old and new friends, but please note that all "Hoodata" matters should be sent to Mr. Rees.

In "Haycraft 3" (1923) is the following information:- "L.A.,T.C.L. Black silk or stuff lined with rose pink silk and trimmed with white fur. Simple." Trinity College of Music cannot trace any information about this, since the relevant records were destroyed in the London blitz. Can anyone supply any details at all? Does L.A. mean Licentiate in Arts (a "poor man's" B.A.?), or Literary Associate, or what? Has anyone ever seen the hood?

Who is the most-hooded man in Britain? Certainly the various Archbishops of Canterbury in recent decades have been awarded many honorary degrees by a multitude of institutions. It must however be acknowledged that these have been given to recipients by virtue of their appointment (though this is not implying that they were not academically distinguished in themselves). But apart from these special cases, who is the most-hooded person? I know of someone that is entitled to wear at least eighteen hoods; these include:- BA Bristol, BA Oxon, MA Oxon, PhD, DMus (twice), MChMus, LRAM, ARCM, FLCM, FTSC, FVCM, FNCM, LTCL, LGSM, FSCM, Ely Theol. Coll., Tyndale Hall Theol. Coll. [This was Dr John Styles (obit 1993), Principal of the VCM 1977-88 - NWG] Presumably he obtained the Licentiate diploma in some of the music qualifications before proceeding to the Fellowship and so is thereby entitled to wear the "lower" hood also. Can anyone beat this total?
(Surely BA Oxon. is revoked upon conferment of MA? Therefore he could not wear both hoods (unless he took two Oxford BAs and proceeded to MA on one of them). - Ed.)

Comments on 'The Simple Shaped Hood'

Hood Diagram

The feature article in the last issue produced some interesting replies. Readers agreed that Fig. 2 probably represented the 'authentic' method of wearing a simple shaped hood. A reader pointed out that, if it were worn as a 'real' hood, the Fig. 2 liripipe CD would hang towards the back (correctly). The Fig. 3 one would hang forwards over the eyes (incorrectly). It seems that at one time jesters wore their 'cape of bells' back to front as a joke, and this may have been the origin of the Fig. 3 method. I was reminded that there are various ways of cutting a Fig 3. hood. Certain types open out along EX to facilitate folding back (e.g. Wales Bachelor). Others (e.g. Leeds) are permanently stitched in the folded back position. Yet another variation is that some hoods are worn with all the lining showing at PQ, and with the neckband being worn inverted (i.e. upside down and inside out, with the lining visible.) In such a case, a Fig. 2 hood must be worn in the Fig. 3 manner (in order to get the cord loop into the necessary position), and vice versa! The presence of a robemakerís label on the neckband, or some other special design feature may dictate which way the hood is worn, but otherwise the choice is yours: take a simple shaped hood and try it for yourselves. To add to the confusion: I have a photograph of a Manchester MA hood, constructed in such a way that there is actually a reversal of colours at the neckband, i.e. the neckband has been sewn in back to front. The photo was supplied by the then official robemakers, so I can only assume that this is an authentic feature of the design.

John William Burgon was a fellow of Oriel 1846, and Vicar of St. Mary's Oxford 1863 and Dean of Chichester 1876. His Life by [E.M.] Goulburn (2 vols. London 1892) is a book which your Editor hoped to read in due course. It is thought that Dean Burgon designed the hood to redress the robemakers' practice of skimping on material.


Many new university hoods, not previously listed in "Hoodata", have been introduced since "Haycraft 5". The reasons would appear to be:- a standardisation of Bachelor as purely a first degree and Master as a higher degree; b the widespread introduction of MPhil (as a research degree); c the introduction of new faculties such as Education.
Some degrees and their hoods, introduced in recent years, seem already to have become obsolete. These are denoted by "OBS". Except where otherwise indicated, the following information has been taken from University Calendars.
Oxford-- MPhil as former BPhil, i.e. simple shape dark blue silk, lined with white silk. BFA Burgon shape black silk lined with gold silk. (The photo in the Venables and Clifford book shows the hood to be lined and edged. The description of these two hoods is taken from this book. However, another source describes the BFA hood as being of "old gold" - Ed.)
Aston-- MPhil Simple shape blue stuff fully lined with University lining (i.e. blood crimson silk background shot with the shield of the University crest in colour at 5 inch spacing).
Birmingham-- BPhil(Ed) Black silk lined with primrose yellow watered silk and bound with white silk at the top edge. MLitt Black silk lined with electric blue watered silk, edged with crimson watered silk. MPhil (Commerce & Social Science) Black silk lined with terra cotta watered silk and edged with crimson watered silk. (All full shape - Ed.)
Essex-- MPhil Full shape black stuff faced with 3 inches white, lined with red taffeta.
Exeter-- BPhil Full shape dove grey cloth, cowl and cape bound with 2 inches of the faculty colour as appropriate, with a thin white cord sewn to the leading edge, edging the faculty colour.
Leeds-- BMus Simple shape dark green with a 1 inch band of white laid on the outside. MPhil Full shape black stuff on silk (surely this should be 'stuff or silk' - and the shape is Cambridge - Ed.) lined with middle green and with a narrow binding of scarlet to hood.
Liverpool-- BMus Blue silk bordered with white fur (OBS). BPhil Black cloth, lined with yellow silk and bordered with white fur (OBS). MTD Black silk or cloth, lined with white silk and edged with one broad line of orange velvet. MCD Black silk or cloth, lined with white silk, and edged with one broad line of black velvet. MBA Black silk or cloth, lined with white silk and edged with one narrow line of gold ribbon. MCom Black silk or cloth, lined with citron silk. MA (since Oct.78) Black cloth, lined yellow silk. MPhil Black silk or cloth lined apple blossom silk. (the former MA hood - Ed.) MMus Black silk or cloth lined blue silk. MPA Black silk or cloth, lined with white silk and edged with one broad line of scarlet ribbon. MPsychol. Black silk or cloth lined with purple silk. (All Liverpool hoods are in the simple shape - Ed.)


** It is reported that St. John's College Nottingham has abandoned its testamur hood (full shape black stuff lined and edged with maroon - see "Hoodata 7"), introduced in 1975, in favour of its former hood (simple shape black stuff bound with scarlet, 1 inch on inside and quarter inch on outside). The ALCD/LTh hood is unaffected.

** I was rebuked for my description of the London BEng hood, since it did not coincide with the official one given by the University. I accept this criticism in part, since I failed to make it clear that it was my own description after seeing the hood. The colour is defined as 'turquoise'; "Hoodata" readers may well wish to know that it is pale turquoise. Although London is not a serious offender, the official hood descriptions of some universities are such that it would be impossible correctly to construct hoods from them. It would be helpful if a standard method of defining hoods could be adopted. I intend to discuss this point further in the next issue.

** I thank readers for their written contributions, some of which have had to be held over to the next issue, but please keep writing. May I also send to readers greetings for Christmas and 1981.