The Vice-Chancellor's files are one of the most important components of the University of Manchester Archives. They are particularly rich in information about the running of the academic departments of the University, and it is typical for there to be individual files relating to the appointments to chairs. The files also contain important information about the University's relations with its students and with various external higher education agencies, including the UGC and the CVCP. Subjects covered include finance, personnel, syllabuses, relations between staff and the University, between students and the University, and between the University and other UK higher education institutions. Systematic files dates from the 1930s onwards, and there is relatively little information for the period before this. The files provide unusually detailed insight into the role of the Vice-chancellor in running the University, relations with colleagues and lay officers, external agencies etc.
Some files in the series reflect personal interests of the vice-chancellor's, particularly John Stopford's files relating to medical education and hospital organisation in the Manchester region.