UMIST Governing Bodies Archive

Scope and Content

The archive comprises the official records of the governing bodies of UMIST and its predecessor organizations.

From 1903-1956, these bodies were under the control of Manchester Education Committee (MEC), and the archives of the MEC, which are part of the Manchester City Council archives, should be considered as directly related to these records. There is an almost complete set of minutes of the management sub-committee of the Manchester Municipal School/College of Technology, 1903-1956 (TGB/1/1), as well as records of its sectional committees (TGB/1/4); some of the latter are also filed with TGB/1/1. The archive also includes the minutes of the Board of Studies, the main non-University body for academic governance (TGB/1/2), and its sub-committees (TGB/1/3). There are also minute and document books for the committees which oversaw the construction of the original College building (TGB/1/5) and the inter-and post-war extension (TGB/1/6). Also present are minutes of the Applications Committee (TGB/1/7), responsible for non-university students, and the Refectory Committee (TGB/1/8), which was responsible for catering policy; both remained in existence after the changes to College ownership and government in 1956.

Minutes of the governing bodies of Manchester College of Science and Technology (1956-1965) and UMIST (1965-2004) are arranged in a separate section (TGB/2). These include the minutes of Court and Council (TGB/2/1) and the Academic Board (TGB/2/2). Minutes for committees which reported to the Board (TGB/2/3) are present, as are minutes of the Departmental Academic Boards (TGB/2/4) for the period 1966-1984. There are also separate series of minutes for some senior UMIST committees including Planning and Development, 1957-1977 (TGB/2/5), Estates, 1965-1977 (TGB/2/6), Academic Establishment, 1985-1996 (TGB/2/7), Non-Academic Establishment, 1961-1994 (TGB/2/8), Library, 1964-1998 (TGB/2/10), Academic Development and Resources, 1985-1995 (TGB/2/11), and meetings of the Heads of Department, 1961-1974 (TGB/2/9). The minutes of some committees of Council, may be found with the main series of Council minutes (TGB/2/1). Minutes of several committees for the late 1990s to 2004 have not been located.

The archive does not include minutes of the Board of the Faculty of Technology, which was responsible for most aspects of university-level academic matters between 1905-1994. The Faculty was a body of the University of Manchester, responsible to its Senate, and its archive is part of the University of Manchester archives (FTE). There are some gaps in coverage of the minutes notably for the management committee for the School between 1904-1914; also absent are minutes of the departmental academic boards in the period up to the 1960s and the post-1984 period.

Minutes are signed and volumes are indexed unless otherwise stated.

The minutes are an essential source of information about the constitution and activities of UMIST and its predecessor bodies. They provide a definitive record of the organization's policies, strategies and business in the period concerned, and its relations with partners, especially Manchester City Council and the Victoria University of Manchester. The records provide interesting sidelights on the development of technical and technological education in Manchester, at both university and vocational levels. These minutes, used in association with other records in the UMIST archive, are important sources of information for the development of individual academic disciplines at UMIST, such as chemical engineering, textiles, mechanical and electrical engineering etc.

Administrative / Biographical History

The constitution and activities of the governing bodies of UMIST and its predecessor organizations, and hence their records, reflect the complex history of the institution.

From 1892 to 1956, the Manchester School (later College ) of Technology was owned and administered by Manchester Corporation. For most of its existence, the College was under the control of Manchester Education Committee. Day-to-day governance was in the hands of a Management Sub-Committee. This was chaired by the MEC chairman, and most of its members were city councillors and aldermen. The Committee's sub-committees, known as the sectional committees, had a similar composition.

The College's system of academic government was complicated, reflecting its dual function of providing university and non-university education. Non-university academic matters were the responsibility of the Board of Studies, which was largely made up of College academic staff. University-level academic matters were handled by the University of Manchester's Faculty of Technology, created in 1905 when university education was introduced at the College. The Faculty was governed by a board, which oversaw matters of admissions, curriculum, examinations and graduation for the College's degree-level courses. The Faculty Board was headed by a dean (normally the Principal of the College up to the 1960s) and included senior academic members of the Faculty; this body was ultimately responsible to the University of Manchester's Council and Senate.

In 1956, Manchester Corporation relinquished control of the College, whereupon it became the Manchester College for Science and Technology, a chartered institution, which received funding directly from the University Grants Committee. A new system of governance was introduced: the senior governing body was the Court of Governors, with a Council acting as the executive body. An Academic Board replaced the Board of Studies for all academic matters which were not the responsibility of the Faculty of Technology. These arrangements continued after the MCST became the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1965, and was only slightly modified by the time of the merger of UMIST with the Victoria University of Manchester in 2004. The major change to UMIST's government came in 1994 when the Faculty of Technology was abolished, following UMIST's achievement of almost complete independence from the University of Manchester.

The UMIST governing bodies were responsible for a number of committees, with financial, administrative, personnel and estates committees reporting to the Council, and academic policy committees reporting (mostly) to the Board, including the departmental academic boards, which oversaw academic policy within individual departments.


Arranged by series, chronologically within series, unless otherwise stated.

The archive is divided into two sections: TGB/1 - Manchester Municipal School/College of Technology and TGB/2 - Manchester College of Science and Technology /UMIST. These sections are arranged as follows:

  • TGB/1/1 - Management Committee of the College of Technology
  • TGB/1/2 - Board of Studies
  • TGB/1/3 - Board of Studies Sub-Committees
  • TGB/1/4 - Sectional Committees
  • TGB/1/5 - New Buildings Committee
  • TGB/1/6 - Extension Sub-Committee
  • TGB/1/7 - Applications Committee
  • TGB/1/8 - Refectory Committee
  • TGB/1/9 - Committee on Regional Arrangements for Non-University Courses
  • TGB/2/1 - Court & Council
  • TGB/2/2 - Academic Board
  • TGB/2/3 - Academic Board Committees
  • TGB/2/4 - Departmental Academic Boards
  • TGB/2/5 - Planning and Development Committee
  • TGB/2/6 - Estates and Buildings Committee
  • TGB/2/7- Academic Establishment Committee
  • TGB/2/8 - Non Academic Establishment Committee
  • TGB/2/9 - Heads of Departments Meetings
  • TGB/2/10 - Library Committee
  • TGB/2/11 - Academic Development and Resources Committee
  • TGB/2/12 - Joint UMIST/AUT committees
  • TGB/2/13 - Infrastructure IT Committee
  • TGB/2/14 - Halls Refurbishment Sub-Committee
  • TGB/2/15 - Officers Meetings
  • TGB/2/16 - Peter Mackay Memorial Committee
  • TGB/2/17 - Academic Studies Committee
  • TGB/2/18 - Board of Postgraduate Studies
  • TGB/2/19 - Board of Undergraduate Studies
  • TGB/2/20 - Undergraduate Panel
  • TGB/2/21 - Information Systems Policy and Resources Committee

Access Information

Access restrictions apply to a number of items in this collection. Where sensitive personal data of living individuals is present, these records may be closed to public inspection.

The archive contains personal data about living individuals, and readers are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 in their use of the material. This finding aid also contains personal data about living individuals. Under this Act, The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process such personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the JRUL 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, according to the Data Protection Principles.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the University Archives in February 2008. Several small accruals have been made since that date.

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.

Appraisal Information

Collection has not been subject to appraisal.

Custodial History

The minute books were retained at administrative offices at UMIST until transferred to the University Archives in 2008.

The archive is owned by the University of Manchester.


Accruals expected, mainly minutes for the period 1995-2004.

Related Material

See also the archive of the Faculty of Technology, 1905-1994 GB 133 FTE for minutes of the Faculty Board and its committees. The archives of Manchester Education Committee are held by Manchester Archives and Local Studies; these should include copies of the minutes of the management committee of the College of Technology. Some joint University of Manchester and UMIST committees are kept as part of the archives of the University of Manchester, e.g. Athletics Committee (USC/14), Student Accommodation Committee (USC/22), Committee for Educational Technology (USC/25), Committee of Management for the Regional Computer Centre (USC/40), Joint Committee on Appointment of Experimental Officers (USC/50).

Geographical Names