Archive of the Manchester University Engineering Society

  • Reference
      GB 133 UES
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      0.3 li.m. 8 items Several of the leatherbound volumes show evidence of wear and tear.
  • Location
      University Archive and Records Centre, main University Library.

Scope and Content

Archive of the University of Manchester Engineering Society. The archive covers the period shortly after the Society was established to the 1940s. It includes minute books, an attendance registers and financial records.

The location of later Society records is not known. The archive is valuable for tracing topics of interest to University engineering students over the years, and the communication of ideas within this academic discipline.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Owens College Engineering Society was established in 1883. Engineering had been taught at the College since 1868, when Osborne Reynolds was appointed to the chair of engineering, and by the 1880s the subject was well established. The Society changed its name to the Manchester University Engineering Society in 1903.

The Society acted as a forum for engineering staff and students to discuss matters of common interest. Its objectives were described as "the discussion of subjects bearing upon Engineering and the applied sciences, and the promotion of a friendly intercourse between its members" (Rules of the Society, 1934). The Society was governed by a committee which included a chairman, secretary and treasurer. The Society was officially headed by a president, the professor of engineering; in later years, this position alternated between the professors of engineering and electrical engineering. In its early years, the professors of geology and physics served as vice-presidents. Membership includes academics, students and (at least in its early years) local engineers in private practice .

The Society's main activities were the presentation of papers at meetings, and visits to local engineering firms. The Society offered a silver medal for the best papers delivered by student members. In later years the Society published a magazine, The Manchester University Engineering Society Magazine. Faculty of Technology staff and students in engineering subjects [i.e. those based at the Manchester Municipal College of Technology/UMIST] do not appear to have been particularly active in the Society. The Society continued to be active into the late twentieth century.


Arranged by series:

  • UES/1 - Minute books
  • UES/2 - Attendance registers
  • UES/3 - Financial records

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the University Archives by Professor Derek Jackson in February 2010.

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 University Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

The archive was maintained the University of Manchester's School of Engineering until transferred to the University Archives in 2010.


Further accruals possible.

Related Material

Copies of The Manchester University Engineering Society Magazine were collected separately from this archive, and form part of the University Publications collection UMP/2/11; these cover the period 1954-1972.

See also the archive of the University's Department of Engineering (uncatalogued). There is a file on the Engineering Society in the Vice-Chancellor's student societies files (VSS).

Geographical Names