The Court of Governors and the Council were established with the creation of the Manchester College of Science and Technology in 1956, and were the senior governing bodies until 2004. Council acted as the executive committee of the Court of Governors. Also included are minutes of committees which reported to Council at various times such as: the General Purposes Committees, Policy and Resources Committee, Finance Committee, House Committee, Catering Committee, Student Residences Committees, Residential Buildings Management Committee, and various ad hoc appointment committees.
The Court of Governors included representatives of local authorities, local industries, professional bodies, and trades unions, as well as members of the Victoria University of Manchester. Court appointed some members of the Council, which included in its original manifestation substantial local authority representation. By the 1980s membership had been revised to include extra members of academic staff, students and the UMIST Association (alumni) and local authority representation was correspondingly reduced.
Some of the earlier minute books include minutes of Council sub-committees.