Vice-Chancellor's Files

Scope and Content

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.


The arrangement of these files generally follows the filing arrangement used at the time of their transfer to the archives. In some cases, where files on different subjects were bundled together, these have been separated and treated as discrete items. It does not appear that the previous classification system was used during the active life of the files, but was imposed by the Vice-Chancellor's Office as a matter of administrative convenience following closure of the files. Some files in this series were not labelled under this classification scheme.

Access Information

A number of the files contain sensitive information about individuals. In such cases, access restrictions may apply, consult the University Archivist in the first instance for further information. Some files or parts of files are closed to public inspection, In some cases, access is provisionally restricted, and review by Special Collections staff is required before any part of a file is made publicly available. In such cases, contact Special Collections for further information about the timetable for reviewing a file's contents.


VCA/7 is an accruing series. All accruals have now been received, although not all material has been catalogued.