Archive of the University of Nottingham: Governance records

Scope and Content

This collection of Governance records contains minutes of the University Court, Council and Senate, and minutes of various Boards and Committees reporting directly to Council or Senate.

Administrative / Biographical History

University College Nottingham was granted a Royal Charter in 1948 and became The University of Nottingham with authority to issue its own degrees. The composition and authority of Court, Council and Senate remained largely unchanged from the College days. The charter also reinforced the participation of Convocation and the Union of Students in the constitution of the university.

The 1950s witnessed a massive growth in building development and the student population of the university. The addition of halls of residence began with the completion of Florence Nightingale Hall in 1951. The Portland Building, designed by Cecil Howitt, was finished in 1956 to house student services. Later developments of note include Hallward Library (1971-1873), Queen's Medical Centre (1971-1977), Arts Centre (1995), and Jubilee Campus (1999). From 1948 to 1966 the number of students doubled to 4,000. By 1992, this had risen to 10,000. Following a merger with the Mid-Trent School of Nursing and Midwifery and by mainstreaming the majority of continuing education courses, the university's population had risen to 22,400 registered full-time and part-time students by the year 2000.

In 2001, the Council remained the supreme and executive governing body with committees in charge of audit, strategy and planning, remuneration, staff policy, council membership, finance and general purposes, honorary degrees and safety. Below these committees were other committees, and some, such as the Management Committee within strategy and planning, were significant bodies in their own right. The Senate reported to Council on the following matters for which it had committees: research, teaching, academic policy, promotions, student affairs and discipline.

The university's management structure in 2001 was headed by the vice-chancellor, the equivalent of a chief executive who also chaired the Senate. Beneath the vice-chancellor came the registrar, who was responsible for academic administration, student services, external affairs and outreach, and the bursar, who controlled finance, estates, catering, and accommodation. Deans of faculties and the Graduate School, heads of departments and the director of information services reported to the five pro-vice chancellors. The university was organised into 32 schools and faculties. The faculties, each chaired by a dean, regulated teaching, nominated examiners, approved changes in syllabuses, and dealt with matters relating to faculties and study.

The University's two overseas campuses were opened in Malaysia in 2000 and Ningbo, China, in 2006.


The collection has been arranged by type of meeting. Boards and Committees were initially arranged chronologically, according to the date at which the Board or Committee was established. Any records of other Boards or Committees transferred to Manuscripts and Special Collections after 2019 have been added to the end of the sequence at the time of deposit.

Access Information

Access conditions for particular files are detailed in the catalogue records. Many files contain information on individual students and staff. Access to student records under 100 years old and staff records under 75 years old is restricted under current Data Protection legislation. Please see our Access Policy or contact us for further advice.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all finding aids belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Online: Available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in writing on our Permission to Publish form (see the Reprographics Services part of our website or email

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Custodial History

The records of the University of Nottingham have been acquired by Manuscripts and Special Collections since the establishment of the department in 1958. Some are complete series; others are chance survivals, transferred by individual members of staff. Other historic records of the university are still retained within departments. The archive can not therefore be considered to be complete, and is constantly being added to.

Related Material

This collection of Governance records is just one part of a larger set of records relating to the University of Nottingham. The University of Nottingham archive has been divided into separate collections as follows (please note that collections marked with an asterisk * are still being catalogued)::

UAC: Records of Midland Agricultural College, pre-1948

UCN: Records of University College Nottingham, pre-1948

UA: Archive of The University of Nottingham: Academic Faculties, Departments and Research Institutes *

UF: Archive of The University of Nottingham: Estate and Resource Management, including Libraries *

UG: Archive of The University of Nottingham: Governance *

UL: Archive of The University of Nottingham: Student and Staff Life *

UP: Archive of The University of Nottingham: External Relations *

US: Archive of The University of Nottingham: Strategy, Vice-Chancellor's Office and Registrar's Department papers *

UU: Archive of The University of Nottingham: Student, Staff and Alumni Societies *

UMP: Photographs from the University of Nottingham and its predecessor University College, Nottingham *

NUP: Photographs of the University of Nottingham and its predecessor University College, Nottingham, received from alumni or other individuals

UONC: The University of Nottingham Collection, printed and published material about the University of Nottingham and its predecessor University College, Nottingham

Search for the reference number on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue to retrieve records from any other University collection.


Tolley, Brian H., 'The History of the University of Nottingham' (Nottingham University Press, 2001, Nottingham)Barnes, Frederick A., 'Priory Demesne to University Campus: A Topographic History Of Nottingham University' (University of Nottingham, 1993, Nottingham)