University Heritage Collections

The University Heritage Collections are the art and historic artefact collections that represent the institutional, disciplinary, social and cultural history of the University and its predecessor institutions.

Stained glass window of Richard Copley Christie, shown as a scholar, wearing academic gown and mortar-board.
Stained glass window of Richard Copley Christie.

The University of Manchester, which celebrates its bicentenary in 2024, holds a significant place in history and it is our responsibility to preserve our unique material heritage for current and future generations. The University Heritage Collections enable us to tell stories of our people, places, values and achievements, fostering knowledge exchange with communities both within and beyond our campus.

The majority of our objects are embedded across our physical and digital environment, with some objects held in a secure central store. Together, this tangible heritage helps underpin the distinctive University of Manchester identity, community and learning experience.



List of collections

Physical collections

The collections are diverse and include:

  • Paintings and sculpture, including a large amount of portraiture of key figures;
  • The University’s historic public realm artworks;
  • Ceremonial and decorative objects related to the University, including silverware and gowns;
  • Scientific instruments and apparatus, including the Museum of Medicine and Health;
  • Clothing, such as historic University blazers, sports kit and medals;
  • Photographs documenting life and work at the University.

Further information

To request further information regarding University Heritage and our collections, please contact

Related subject pages

Rylands blog posts 

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