Manchester Egyptian and Oriental Society Archive

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Archives of the Manchester University Egyptian and Oriental Society, comprising records of its predecessor societies, the Manchester Egyptian Association and the Manchester Oriental Society. The collection also includes material from the Manchester and District Branch of the Society for Hebraic Studies and the Manchester University Department of Semitic Studies.

The collection is incomplete. The main components are: Manchester Egyptian Association, minutes, 1906-1912; Manchester Oriental Society, minutes, 1910-1912, membership book, financial transactions, c.1913-1921, newscuttings, c.1910; Manchester Oriental and Egyptian Society (Manchester University Egyptian and Oriental Society from 1935), minutes, 1912-1961, miscellaneous notes and receipts, c.1940-1946, essays presented to Rev. Dr I.W. Slotki (1884-1973) Hebrew educationalist, scholar and minister, on his 80th birthday, and related correspondence, 1964-1965; Manchester and District Branch of the Society for Hebraic Studies, Journals, 1917-1945; papers relating to the Manchester University Department of Semitic Studies seminars in Old Testament studies, 1945-1959; manuscript volumes of related material; miscellaneous printed books and periodicals, some containing articles by Professor Maurice A. Canney; a small number of photographs (portraits), early 20th century; and press cuttings from newspapers and magazines, mainly relating to India and Siam, c.1857-1912.

A number of the professors and lecturers of the University's Department of Theology were members of the constituent societies, Maurice A. Canney, Thomas Fish and Harold Henry Rowley amongst others, as were various clerics, such as the Roman Catholic Bishop of Salford, Louis Casartelli. Some of the minute books, particularly those relating to Hebraic and Semitic Studies, give an insight into papers and lectures delivered to the respective societies.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Manchester Egyptian and Oriental Society was formed on 14 October 1912 as an amalgamation of the former Manchester Egyptian Association (founded 1906) and the Manchester Oriental Society (founded 1910). Both original societies were closely associated with the University of Manchester, a link reflected in the amalgamated group's change of name to the Manchester University Egyptian and Oriental Society in 1935. The Society aimed to promote the study of Egyptian and Oriental language, literature and archaeology, and to support the work of contemporary excavating societies. The Society was governed by a council, and held regular meetings and lectures at the University. Reports and abstracts of papers given at meetings were published in the Society's regular publication, the Journal of the Manchester Egyptian and Oriental Society, from 1912 until its last issue in 1955; reports of activities were subsequently published by the Journal of Semitic Studies from 1956. The group was still in existence in 1965, but the date of its cessation is not known.

The Manchester and District Branch of the Society for Hebraic Studies (The Manchester Society for Hebraic Studies from 10 June 1920), held its first meeting at the University of Manchester on 11 May 1917. The Society aimed to promote study and research, hold lectures and co-operate with similar societies; the content of the Society's seminars was covered in their Journal of Proceedings. Members present at the first meeting included Maurice A. Canney, Professor of Semitic Languages and Literatures, and Israel Wolf Slotki. During the 1940s, some meetings are recorded as being held in the Semitics Department of the university. The branch was still operational in May 1945.

Meetings of the Manchester University Department of Semitic Studies seminars in Old Testament studies are recorded from 9 October 1945. The initial meeting was chaired by Professor Harold Henry Rowley, and members included Dr Thomas Fish. The seminar met regularly on a Tuesday.

Arrangement

The original order of this collection is not discernible. The collection has been arranged into the following subfonds, reflecting the Society's predecessor groups, and groups with associated interests. 

  • MEO/1: Manchester Egyptian Association
  • MEO/2: Manchester Oriental Society
  • MEO/3: Manchester Egyptian and Oriental Society (Manchester University Egyptian and Oriental Society from 1935)
  • MEO/4: Manchester and District Branch of the Society for Hebraic Studies, 1917-1945 (Manchester Society for Hebraic Studies from 1920)
  • MEO/5: Manchester University Department of Semitic Studies, Seminar in Old Testament Research, 1945-1959
  • MEO/6: Miscellaneous manuscript and printed volumes, photographs and newscuttings

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. Under Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the UML to process sensitive personal data for research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, the UML has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately. Users of the archive are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, and will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they will abide by the requirements of the Act in any further processing of the material by themselves.

Open parts of this collection, and the catalogue descriptions, may contain personal data about living individuals. Some items in this collection may be closed to public inspection in line with the requirements of the DPA. Restrictions/closures of specific items will be indicated in the catalogue.

Other Finding Aids

An earlier typed handlist exists; now superseded.

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, The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

The custodial history of the collection is not fully known; the collection is presumed to have been passed from the University to the University Library, and thence to the John Rylands Library on Deansgate in 1972.

Accruals

No accruals are expected.

Related Material

Manchester Archives and Local Studies holds various papers relating to the work of Rev. Dr Israel Wolf Slotki, c.1891-1973, including personal correspondence, biographical notes, papers relating to educational matters, draft articles and offprints from theological and Semitic language journals, plus minutes and correspondence of the Manchester and District Branch of the Society for Hebraic Studies 1917-1925 (ref. GB127.M191).

The library holds published works by Professor Maurice A. Canney, Dr Israel Wolf Slotki and other members of the groups within the Society, as well as copies of the Journal of the Manchester Oriental Society and the Journal of the Manchester Egyptian and Oriental Society.