This collection contains the records of the sessional committees of Senate and Council of the University of Manchester and other joint committees which reported to the governing bodies of the University.
The records consist almost entirely of the official minutes of these sessional committees, although in a few cases, other records relating to the committees may be included. The compilation of the minutes was the responsibility of the secretaries of each committee, and it was customary at least until the 1980s to sign minutes and bind them in leather volumes, usually with a manuscript index.
Minutes of the sessional committees are a major research resource for a number of issues relating to the University's history including estates and the built environment (e.g. in House & Finance Committee, Buildings Committee, Gardens Committee), relations with students (University/Union Committee, Athletics Committee, Discipline Committee, Student Accommodation Committee , Appointments Board etc), academic policy (legal education, teachers of the deaf, extra-mural education), financial policy (House & Finance, Joint Committee on University Development, Estimates and Stipends), governance issues (Revision of Charter and Statutes Committee) and the management of halls of residence, research centres and service units such as the University Library, University Press, Manchester Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery.
To be used effectively, committee minutes should be cross-referenced to the minutes of Senate and Council, which instituted and received reports from these committees. The minutes of some of smaller, less important committees have been bound into a general series of Council sub-committees (USC/1) and Senate sub-committees (USC/2).
This collection does not contain the minutes of all Senate and Council sub-committees, and in some cases gaps in the record exist. In general, post-1980 committee minutes have not yet been deposited at the University Archives. Minutes for joint VUM-UMIST committees form part of this collection, but the counterpart records of UMIST's own sessional committees are maintained as part of the UMIST governing bodies archive.