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Manchester Society of Architects Archive

Date range: 1859-1992

Medium: Archive

The Manchester Society of Architects was founded in 1865 with the aim to establish a scale of professional charges and practice for architects, to arbitrate in disputes involving its members and their employers, to ensure fair play in architectural competitions, to promote the status of architecture as a profession, and to improve the training of its members.

Membership was limited to practising architects, but members were drawn from throughout North-West England. From the outset the MSA was closely associated with the Royal Institute of British Architects. The Society was reconstituted in 1891 when it amalgamated with the Manchester Architectural Association. The Society’s constitution was revised again in 1962 to conform with changes in the RIBA, and in 1969 the Society became a branch of the RIBA.

Records of the Manchester Society of Architects include: annual reports; minute books; membership data; financial records; catalogues and other records of the MSA’s library; and correspondence files relating to the administration of the Society, professional standards, education, training, competitions and exhibitions.

The archive offers scope for research into the development of building regulations and town planning, the development of professional education, changes in architectural taste, and the Society’s influence on the RIBA.

See also:

Further information:

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • A. Kenney, ‘Catalogue of the Archives of the Manchester Society of Architects’, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 74, no. 2 (1992), pp. 37-63; the published catalogue of the original MSA archive.


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