UMIST Department of Building Archive

Scope and Content

Extant archive of the former Department of Building (latterly Building Engineering). The archive comprises the minutes of the Departmental Academic Board, 1974-1986. Also present is a minute book of a Department of Scientific and Industrial Research-funded project "Structure and Economy of the Building Industry", with which the Department was involved between 1962 and 1966 (although this is not strictly part of the departmental archive, it was felt that this archive was the most suitable location for this item).

Administrative / Biographical History

The first courses in building were taught in the 19th century Manchester Mechanics' Institution. By the 1930s, the Department was teaching both university-level degrees (B.Sc. Tech) and associateship level certificates (ONCs and HNCs) to part-time and evening students in building, structural engineering and quantity surveying.

With the creation of the Manchester College of Science and Technology in 1956, the Department oriented itself almost entirely to degree work, and became more active in research. The structural engineering section of the Department was transferred to the Department of Civil Engineering. In 1957 Denis Harper (1907-1992) was appointed to the first chair in building. Harper, who was a qualified architect and town planner, developed the Department's research reputation in areas like building functions, design technology and design analysis, and also worked with the engineering departments at MCST to provide courses in the services engineering field. Departmental staff undertook regular consultancies with the building industry and the Department also worked with industry's various training boards to promote building education.

In the early 1960s, the department moved to the Pariser building, where it was to remain for the rest of its existence. In 1985 the Department was renamed Building Engineering. The 1980s saw a significant increase in the undergraduate numbers, and several new degrees were offered including a masters in advanced building technology, and construction project management. In the 1990s, the Department worked closely with the new UMIST Centre for Property Development and Management. In 2000 Building became part of the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, a department it had previously worked very closely with; in 2001, this was renamed the Centre for Civil and Construction Engineering.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader unless otherwise stated.

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, 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.

Acquisition Information

Transferred by MACE, which inherited the records of the Department in 2004, to the University Archives in March 2012.

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.


Further accruals possible.

Related Material

Annual reports of the Department (1957-2000) can be found in the UMIST annual reports series (TOP/2). Some pre-1974 DAB minutes may be found in TGB/2/4.

TPA/1/11 for Harper's appointment file.

Geographical Names