Arthur Milnes Marshall Papers

  • Reference
      GB 133 AMM
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      0.3 li.m. 10 items A number of items are damaged, primarily bindings of bound volumes.
  • Location
      Collection available at University Archive and Records Centre, main University Library.

Scope and Content

A collection of scrapbooks and correspondence of the zoologist Arthur Milnes Marshall. The material dates from Marshall's period as professor of zoology at Owens College.

Marshall appears to have maintained the scrapbooks primarily to document his extra-curricular activities at the College. Although the volumes contain some notes and official papers concerning the department of zoology, they are mostly made up on lecture notices and programmes, invitations to College and other events, and syllabi, timetables, and membership cards, particularly for the societies in which Marshall was active (Athletic Union, Biological Society, Microscopical society etc). They also record his extra-mural lecturing work, for example for the Ancoats Recreation Committee.

There is also a small body of correspondence, including some Athletic Union material and administrative business.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Milnes Marshall was professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at Owens College Manchester from 1879 until his death in 1893. Marshall was born on 8 June 1852 at Birmingham, and was educated at St John's College Cambridge. After graduating in natural science, Marshall remained at Cambridge, teaching classes of comparative morphology, and undertaking research with the zoologist Francis Balfour. In 1877 Marshall entered St Bartholomew's Hospital to train as a doctor. However, his studies were interrupted when he was appointed professor of zoology at Owens College in 1879. This was a new post, created by splitting an existing chair in natural history.

Marshall made a significant impact at Owens, gaining a reputation as a gifted teacher and an energetic administrator. He developed zoology as a serious academic discipline at the College and the Victoria University of which Owens was part. He succeeded in getting support for new zoological laboratories, which he considered essential to the research he wished promote. Marshall's preoccupation with teaching and administration meant he undertook relatively little research himself.

Marshall's background was as an embryologist, with a special interest in vertebrate morphology. His research interests included studies of cranial nerves and also of the invertebrate sea pens. He wrote a number of works on comparative anatomy, including several successful text books. Marshall was president of the Manchester Microscopical Society for the last seven years of his life. In 1885 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1890 was president of the Biological Section of the British Society for the Advancement of Science.

Marshall was an enthusiastic promoter of College sports, and was instrumental in the foundation of the Athletic Union in 1885, of which he served as President. He was also a keen mountaineer, and it was while climbing Scafell that he was killed in a fall on 31 December 1893.


Arranged chronologically by series.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Majority of collection donated to the University of Manchester Library by H. McKechnie on 23 Oct 1940. Correspondence (AMM/2/1) transferred from the Registrar's office in the 1980s.

Other Finding Aids

Supersedes a summary list compiled in the 1970s.

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.

Related Material

The archives of the Department of Zoology (DZO), and the Biological Society (UBS) contain a little more information on Marshall's activities. The Owens College archive includes papers relating to his appointment as professor in 1879 (OCA/19/20).


The most comprehensive study of zoology at Owens during Marshall's period is an unpublished Ph.D thesis, Alison Kraft, "Building Manchester biology 1851-1963: national agendas, provincial strategies" (University of Manchester Ph.D. 2000).

Geographical Names