Archive of the University of Manchester Music Club

  • Reference
      GB 133 UMC
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      5 items
  • Location
      Collection available at University Archive and Records Centre, main John Rylands University Library.

Scope and Content

The archive comprises an incomplete set of the Club's committee and general meeting minutes (1914-1959) with some enclosures including photographs, newscuttings, programmes and accounts. There is also a bound volume of programmes of Club concerts (1935-1947)

Administrative / Biographical History

The University of Manchester Music Club appears to have been established in 1903, although no records from this time appear to survive. In 1926 its stated aim was ‘to bring together all people in the University who love music. To hold 10 classical concerts during the year. To encourage individual talent amongst students’. Subsequently it underwent several reorganisations and name changes, being known at different times as: The University of Manchester Music Society; the Manchester Union Music Society and the Owens Union Music Club. In 1935 it was mooted that the organisation be split into a society for musical practice and performance and a club for those wishing to attend concerts, however this never came about. During its early years, besides meetings and music recitals, the Club also organised social events, such as countryside walks, picnics and dances. During this time there were regular programmes of musical performances and talks on musical subjects.

A very significant influence within the Club was the University music academic Humphrey Proctor-Gregg CBE, (1895-1980), who was a long serving president (1935-1949) and then honorary president (1949-1950). Another influence in the 1930s was Mrs A.J.P. Taylor, first wife of the historian, who served as vice president. Meetings and concerts were regularly held in the Department of Music, then located in Dover Street. By 1939 the Club’s principal emphasis was the provision of concerts by individuals and groups, mostly of classical and English folk music. Jazz music was only permitted at lunchtimes and University orchestra equipment was not allowed to be used by dance bands. Around this time it was felt that the Club had become too dominated by staff to the detriment of student interests. By the late 1940s, the Club appears to have been based in the Students’ Union and its stated aims were now ‘the promotion and enjoyment of music, especially chamber music, instrumental and vocal’. By 1968 the Club was recognising the need to make concessions to popular acoustic music within their concert programmes and it also extended its membership to students of the nearby Northern College of Music. The Music Society, as it is now known, is still in existence although the extent and whereabouts of its records after 1959 is yet to be ascertained. (Sources: the collection and the file on the Music Club in the Vice Chancellors' student society files (GB 133 VSS) [uncatalogued]


Arranged chronogically.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information


Other Finding Aids


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 Keeper of Manuscripts and Archives, John Rylands University Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

It appears that at some point the Club passed these records to the Department of Music's library, who in turn gave them to the University Archives some time in the 1990s


There may be further accruals to this archive.

Related Material

A file on the Music Club/Society is in the Vice Chancellor's student society files (VSS/1/108 ).