Guide to the Collections

University Archive Collections

Guide to the Collections

The University of Manchester Archives consist of a very wide range of official and semi-official records which date from 1824 to the present-day.

Collectively, the archives constitute one of the most significant research resources available for the history of British higher education institutions. They provide invaluable source material for such varied topics as the development of academic research and teaching, relations with central government and other public bodies, university funding, student recruitment, including the admission of women students, university architecture, and the social, political and cultural activities of students.

Victoria University of Manchester

Records include those of the University's predecessor body, Owens College, (1851-1904), the federal Victoria University (1880-1903) of which Owens was a constituent member, as well as the Victoria  University of Manchester (1903 to 2004).  

The Archives include a wide range of official publications and administrative documents including calendars, reports of Council, matriculation and attendance registers, examination records and papers. There is a large and diverse collection of University newspapers and magazines dating from the 1860s to the  present day.

The Archives  include records of student organizations including the Students' Union and the Athletic Union. 

The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST)

The UMIST archives cover the period  from the foundation of the Manchester Mechanics' Institution in 1824 to UMIST's merger with the University of Manchester in 2004.

These archives are most comprehensive for governing bodies and administrative departments, and include the archives of the Principal's and Registrar's Offices. Also present is a collection of official and student newspapers and magazines, as well as the archives of the UMIST Students Union and Athletics Union.

The following collections are currently held in the University Archives:

Governing Bodies

Administrative and Support Departments

Academic Faculties, Departments and Institutes

Cultural Institutions

Student and Staff organizations

Halls of residence


University-related organizations


  • Photographic Collection
  • Plans Collection