The history of the Imperial College London can be traced to the beginning of the XX century. It was established in 1907 as a result of combining three entities: the City and Guides of London Institute, the Royal College of Science and the Royal School of Mines. In the years that followed, the National Heart and Lung Institute, St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, Westminster schools and Charring Cross, merged to become the fourth college - the Imperial College School of Medicine. In 2000, the Imperial College was expanded by uniting with the Wye College.
Then, in 2002, its college structure was abolished in favor of a faculty structure. Today the college is comprised of four faculties, including those of Engineering, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Medicine. Each of them has its own divisions, the most prominent of which are the Imperial College Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Clinical Sciences divisions. Non-faculty departments include: the Graduate School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine, the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, and the Business School and Humanities Department. The responsibility for drawing up new plans and key decisions of the college is in the hands of an Operation Committee and a Management Board, which are chaired by the Rector. Each faculty is headed by a Principal, who is responsible for the staff and members, providing academic leadership, and the finances of the faculty.
The main campus of the Imperial College, in South Kensington, houses the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, the Royal College of Art and the Royal College of Music. Two other major campuses are located at Silwood Park and at Wye. Each department is provided with its own library - in addition to the Central Library.
The Imperial College Library, which is located on the South Kensington campus, is the main library of the College. This Library, with its 900,000 books, 11,000 electronic subscriptions, 200 PC's and 950 readers, is regarded as one of the largest academic research libraries in the country.
Information and Communication Technologies provides the college with a number of information technologies services, like computer clusters, networks, servers, central file storage and email. Students of Imperial enjoy a great number of extracurricular activities. Issued weekly, the college newspaper, Felix, is free to all students of Imperial.
The College Boat Club is considered one of the most successful rowing clubs in the United Kingdom. Through this Club have come many Olympians, including gold medal winners at the Sydney Olympics, Louis Attrill and Simon Dennis.
The Imperial College Science Fiction Society maintains a collection of more than 6,500 books and claims to have the largest student library in Europe. Among the prominent alumni of the Imperial are Nobel laureate Alexander Fleming and the discoverer of penicillin Thomas Henry Huxley. Today Imperial College is a member of IDEA League and the Russell Group of Universities.