University of Manchester Benefactions Registers

Scope and Content

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.

Administrative / Biographical History

See Scope and Content Note.


Arranged chronologically.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader unless otherwise stated.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 2018. The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data and sensitive personal data for archiving and research purposes under the Act. In accordance with the DPA, UML has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately. Users of the archive are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act, and will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they will abide by the requirements of the Act in any further processing of the material by themselves.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

Retained in the Registrar's Office until transferred to the University Archives in the 1980s.


Accruals possible, but not expected.

Related Material

The Reports of Council typically record significant gifts and bequests to the University, UOP/2. The files of the University Vice-Chancellor (VCA) include information on specific gifts, bequests and endowments.

Geographical Names