The Benefactions Registers were kept by the University from the 19th century up to the mid-19th century. Their purpose was to be an official record of gifts and bequests to the University.
These gifts included money, either as one-off donations or to specific general funds and endowments, works of art, museum objects, books and manuscripts. Some of the financial donations were used in general funds, while other monies were donated for scholarships, fellowships of buildings.
The Registers contain only minimal information on a benefaction: date, name of donor, purpose and amount. Most of the donors were individuals, but organisations and groups of subscribers are also present. The Registers are indexed.
The practice of keeping a register probably dates from after the institution of a new system of internal government at Owens College in 1870/1. The first volume, which includes donations from John Owens' initial endowment, appears to have been compiled retrospectively, probably int he 1870s or 1880s. The Registers were maintained until the late 1940s; it is not known how benefactions were recorded after this date.