University of Manchester, Department of Religions and Theology archive

Scope and Content

The Department of Religions and Theology archive is incomplete. Prior to the establishment of departmental boards under the 1973 charter, it is not believed that the departments which were part of the Faculty of theology generated significant volumes of official records. Most significant work on academic policy would have been undertaken by the Faculty Board and its sub-committees. It is believed that the various theology departments established departmental boards. In 1983, ecclesiastical history, historical and contemporary theology, and social and pastoral theology united to form the department of theological studies. From 1992, a single departmental board for religions and theology existed. To date, records for departmental boards for Biblical Criticism, philosophy of region and comparative religion have not been located.

The archive currently consists of departmental board records for theological studies (1983-1992), and religions and theology (1997-2001).

Administrative / Biographical History

The subject area of religions and theology has been taught at the University of Manchester since 1903. the main aspects of teaching policy (admissions, curricula, exams and degrees) was overseen by the Faculty of Theology from 1903-1992. The faculty was composed of a number of 'micro' departments, often containing only a small number of staff, including Biblical criticism, comparative religion, philosophy of religion, ecclesiastical history, social and pastoral theology, and historical and contemporary theology.

A single department of religions and theology was not established until the Faculty was dissolved in 1992, and the Faculty of Arts took responsibility for the subject area. In 2000 A School of Religions and Theology and Middle Eastern Studies was set up9although the constituent departments remained separate entities (relations between these subject areas had always been close). In 2004, Religions and Theology became part of the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures, and since 2012, it has been part of the School of Arts. Languages and Cultures.


  • DRT/1 - Department of Theological Studies board minutes
  • DRT/2 - Department of Religions and Theology board minutes
  • DRT/3 - Department of Religions and Theology staff-students committee minutes

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader, although access restrictions may apply to parts of collections.

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

The records in this archive were transferred by the former School of Arts, Histories and Cultures in 2006.

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 are possible. Several departmental board record series are currently missing. Post-2004 records will form part of a separate collection.

Related Material

The Faculty of Theology archive provides more detail on Academic policy, 1903-1992, see FTH. Departmental annual reports (to 1996) can be found in the Reports of Council ( UOP/2); up to the late 1970s, reports were submitted by the Faculty, from the 1980s, reports were submitted by R and T departments. The Vice-Chancellor's Archive (VCA) has files relating to the administration of the Faculty of Theology as a whole: VCA/7/182 (1935-1946), VCA/7/401 (1952-1971) and VCA/7/618 (1968-1979).


See Faculty of Theology: seventy-fifth anniversary papers 1979 (1980) ; the essay by Ronald Preston is a brief history of the subject area at the Univ

Geographical Names