Archive of the University of Liverpool: Records of the Foundation of the University

Scope and Content

This sequence includes letters patent, grant of arms, photographs and records relating to the foundation of University College and the University of Liverpool.

Administrative / Biographical History

In response to a Petition presented on behalf of the citizens of Liverpool, Queen Victoria incorporated by Charter on 18 Oct 1881 a University College which was housed on a site and in buildings acquired and transferred to the College by the Corporation of the City of Liverpool. Generous support was readily given to the College by the people of Merseyside and within three years fourteen Chairs were established. In view of this rapid progress and of its growing prestige as a centre of higher learning, the University College was in 1884 admitted as one of the constituent colleges of the Victoria University which in 1880 had been incorporated by Royal Charter upon the Petition of Owens College, Manchester. In the same year the Royal Infirmary Medical School estabilshed in 1834 and based initially at the Liverpool Royal Institution was incorporated in University College, Liverpool and became the nucleus of a Faculty of Medicine.

In 1902 the University College presented a petition to King Edward VII, supported by a Petition of a committee appointed at a public meeting of the inhabitants of Liverpool applying for the Grant of a Royal Charter as a separate and Independant University. The Royal Charter, granted on 15 Jul 1903, incorporated the University of Liverpool with full powers to administer its affairs and confer degrees upon its students. On 14 August 1903 the Royal Assent was given to an Act of Parliament, entitled the Liverpool University Act 1903, which separated University College, Liverpool from the Victoria University and merged it into the University of Liverpool


Arranged into two sections:

  • Foundation of University College
  • Foundation of the University of Liverpool

Access Information

Access is open to bona fide researchers unless otherwise stated.

Related Material

See also Vice Chancellor's Papers

Minute Books of Committees of Council contain records relating to the Foundation of University College and the University of Liverpool, these include minute books relating the erection of buildings. Of particular relevance are:

  • S272 New Laboratories (University College, Liverpool) Building Committee, 1883-1887
  • P5150 Engineering (Building) Committee, 1886-1890
  • S275 University College, Liverpool: Joint Building Committee of Council and Senate, 1887-1893
  • S274 Medical School Extensions (Anatomical Laboratories, etc.) Committee, 1898-1905
  • S293 Minutes of the University [General] Committee and of the University Executive Committee interspersed, 1901-1904