Henry Brierley Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The Collection contains documents relating only to Brierley's work with Owens College alumni. Primarily, this includes lists of former students which Brierley used to arrange social meetings etc. There are also a couple of illuminated addresses presented to Brierley in recognition of his work. Of particular interest is a scrapbook (HBC/1) which includes ephemera relating to early alumni events, including the Owens College golden and diamond jubilees.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Brierley was the moving force behind the earliest alumni social organizations of Owens College and the University of Manchester.

Brierley was born at Rochdale in 1847, and attended Rochdale Grammar School. He entered Owens College, aged 14, in 1861, where he studied classics. He was made an Associate of Owens College in 1864. He then undertook solicitor's articles, and practised law for many years at Rochdale. He was registrar of the county courts in Bury and Wigan.

Brierley was active in public life, as a town councillor in Rochdale in the Conservative interest, and as a member of Rochdale's School Board. He was also a strong Churchman. During the First World War, he served on military tribunals. Brierley was a member of several local and regional historical societies, and served as secretary of the Lancashire Parish Register Society between 1899 and 1931. He was also founder and first president of the Lancashire Authors' Association, established in 1908 to promote the study of Lancashire dialects.

Brierley was active in promoting alumni activities for former students of Owens College. In 1899, he organised the first reunion of Owens alumni at Oxford, and played a leading role in the golden jubilee celebrations of Owens College in 1901/2. He established the Old Owensians Association, and served as its president, and raised funds for the College from its former members. In recognition of this work, he was appointed a honorary doctor of laws by the University of Manchester in 1920. Brierley's achievement was to establish alumni groups as convivial and philanthropic bodies, to supplement the more formal organization offered by the Owens College Associates, and latterly by the Convocation of the University of Manchester.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

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.

Custodial History

The collection is artificial, but it is believed that Brierley donated material to the University at various times. The items were previously kept in the general sequence of University archives.

Related Material

See also the University of Manchester Convocation archive (CON) and records of the Owens College Associates (OCA/13).

Geographical Names