Archives of the Sessional Committees of Senate and Council and Joint Committees of the Victoria University of Manchester

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 USC
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      approx. 39 li.m.  574 items Most of the items in this collection are leather-bound volumes; due to general wear and tear, many of the older volumes are scuffed, and in some cases, spines of volumes have been damaged.
  • Location
      Collection available at University Archive and Records Centre, main University Library.

Scope and Content

This collection contains the records of the sessional committees of Senate and Council of the University of Manchester and other joint committees which reported to the governing bodies of the University.

The records consist almost entirely of the official minutes of these sessional committees, although in a few cases, other records relating to the committees may be included. The compilation of the minutes was the responsibility of the secretaries of each committee, and it was customary at least until the 1980s to sign minutes and bind them in leather volumes, usually with a manuscript index.

Minutes of the sessional committees are a major research resource for a number of issues relating to the University's history including estates and the built environment (e.g. in House & Finance Committee, Buildings Committee, Gardens Committee), relations with students (University/Union Committee, Athletics Committee, Discipline Committee, Student Accommodation Committee , Appointments Board etc), academic policy (legal education, teachers of the deaf, extra-mural education), financial policy (House & Finance, Joint Committee on University Development, Estimates and Stipends), governance issues (Revision of Charter and Statutes Committee) and the management of halls of residence, research centres and service units such as the University Library, University Press, Manchester Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery.

To be used effectively, committee minutes should be cross-referenced to the minutes of Senate and Council, which instituted and received reports from these committees. The minutes of some of smaller, less important committees have been bound into a general series of Council sub-committees (USC/1) and Senate sub-committees (USC/2).

This collection does not contain the minutes of all Senate and Council sub-committees, and in some cases gaps in the record exist. In general, post-1980 committee minutes have not yet been deposited at the University Archives. Minutes for joint VUM-UMIST committees form part of this collection, but the counterpart records of UMIST's own sessional committees are maintained as part of the UMIST governing bodies archive.

Administrative / Biographical History

The collection comprises the records of the sessional committees of Council and Senate of the Victoria University of Manchester, together with other joint, advisory and ad hoc committees which reported to the governing bodies of the University. Such committees have existed since the Owens College era, but the number of committees grew substantially from the mid-twentieth century as the University became an ever-larger and more complex organization.

Sessional committees were involved with many aspects of University business, both academic and administrative. Sessional committees were usually chaired by the vice-chancellor, a senior academic or a lay officer of Council. The majority of sessional committees reported to Council, some reported to Senate (mostly in relation to scholarships, prizes and lectures), and others were joint committees of Senate and Council. Several committees had non-University representation from organizations with an interest in the business of that committee. There were joint committees with UMIST, established where the two universities ran joint services (for example, sports facilities and the careers service). A list of the sessional committees was published in the annual Calendar of the University.

The merger of VUM and UMIST to create the new University of Manchester in October 2004 saw a major overhaul of the University's committee structure, with most of the sessional committees being replaced by more informal committees.


The collection is organized by committee, but the committees are arranged in no particular order. Items within each series are arranged chronologically.

The collection is divided into the following series: 

  • USC/1 Committees of Council (Miscellaneous)
  • USC/2 Committees of Senate (Miscellaneous)
  • USC/3 House and Finance Committee
  • USC/4 Buildings Committee
  • USC/5 Gardens Committee
  • USC/6 Appointments Board
  • USC/7 Committee for Honorary Degrees
  • USC/8 Joint Committee on Post-War Developments
  • USC/9 Committee on the Revision of the Charter and Statutes
  • USC/10 Discipline Committee
  • USC/11 Joint Committee on Assistance to Foreign Scholars/ Committee on Arrangements for Foreign Scholars
  • USC/12 Joint Advisory Committee on Student Affairs
  • USC/13 Relations between the Union and University Committee
  • USC/14 Athletics Committee
  • USC/15 Athletics Ground at Wythenshawe Committee
  • USC/16 Heads of Hall Committee
  • USC/17 Ashburne Hall Delegacy/Committee
  • USC/18 Ellis Llwyd Jones Delegacy
  • USC/19 St Anselm Hall Committee
  • USC/20 Langdale Hall Committee/Council
  • USC/21 Woolton Hall Committee
  • USC/22 Student Accommodation Committee
  • USC/23 Student Lodgings Committee
  • USC/24 Grant Assessments Committee
  • USC/25 University Television Service Committee/Committee for Educational Technology
  • USC/26 Advisory Committee for Public Health Investigations
  • USC/27 Committee of the Department of Clinical Investigations and Research
  • USC/28 Consultative Committee on Cancer Research
  • USC/29 Consultative Committee on Chronic Rheumatism
  • USC/30 Darbishire House Board of Management
  • USC/31 Medical Library Committee
  • USC/32 Advisory Committee for Legal Education
  • USC/33 Advisory Committee for the Training of Teachers of the Deaf
  • USC/34 Medical and Dental Services Committee
  • USC/35 Nuclear Reactor Committee
  • USC/36 Joint Committee on Tutorial Classes
  • USC/37 Extra-Mural Committee
  • USC/38 Adult Education Committee
  • USC/39 Whitworth Art Gallery Committee
  • USC/40 Committee of Management for the Regional Computer Centre
  • USC/41 Committee of Management for the McDougall Centre
  • USC/42 Dalton Hall Council
  • USC/43 Grants Assessment Committee
  • USC/44 Joint Committee on Overseas Students' Fees
  • USC/45 Refectory Committee
  • USC/46 Committee on Recognition of Departments and Teachers for B.Ed courses in Colleges of Education
  • USC/47 Committee to Supervise the Programme of Courses on Educational Methods for University Lecturers
  • USC/48 Committee on University Entrance Requirements
  • USC/49 Joint Policy Committee on Research Consultancy Services
  • USC/50 Estimates and Stipends Committee
  • USC/51 Entrance Scholarships Committee
  • USC/52 Administration of the Simon Fund for University Entertainment Committee
  • USC/53 Simon Fund (Social Sciences) Committee
  • USC/54 Committee on University Development
  • USC/55 Joint Committee on University Development (JCUD).
  • USC/56 Needham Hall Committee
  • USC/57 Broomcroft Hall Committee
  • USC/58 Medical Committee of Senate
  • USC/59 Hulme Hall Council
  • USC/60 Hulme Hall Committee
  • USC/61 Poetry Centre Committee
  • USC/62 Advisory Committee Journal of Semitic Studies
  • USC/63 Press Committee
  • USC/64 Allen Hall Committee
  • USC/65 Library Committee
  • USC/66 Museum Committee
  • USC/67 Dalton Hall Committee
  • USC/68 Ellis Llwyd Jones Committee
  • USC/69 St Gabriel's Hall Committee
  • USC/70 Medical Illustration Committee
  • USC/71 Joint Committee for Appointments of Experimental Officers and Senior Experimental Officers
  • USC/72 Computer Services Committee
  • USC/73 Computer Policy Committee
  • USC/74 Information Systems Committee
  • USC/75 Manchester Computing Centre, National Policy Committee
  • USC/76 Notice Books
  • USC/77 Finance Committee
  • USC/78 Audit Committee
  • USC/79 Estates and Services Committee
  • USC/80 Health Services Policy Committee
  • USC/81 Personnel Policies Committee
  • USC/82 Owens Park Policy Committee
  • USC/83 Board for International Developments

Access Information

Access conditions apply to a number of record series in this archive; some material is currently closed to public inspection. Material may only accessible following review by Special Collections staff.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 2018. Under the Act 2018 (DPA), The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data for archiving and 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 2018, 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 minute books have been transferred to the University Archives at various dates from the mid-1970s onwards.

Other Finding Aids


Conditions Governing Use

The archive is owned by The University of Manchester.

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.

Custodial History

The minute books which constitute this collection were the responsibility of the individual committee secretary during their active life. Many of the volumes in this archive were kept in the Registrar and Secretary's Department until transferred to the University Archives. In some cases, minute books have been transferred from other parts of the University, due to their association with a particular committee, e.g. minutes relating to governance of individual halls of residence have often come to the Archives from the halls.


Further accruals are expected, mostly of post-1980 committee minutes.

Related Material

Records of the committees of Owens College, some of which dealt with similar subjects as the committees in this archive, will be found in Owens College Archive (OCA). The committee records should be cross-referred to the minutes of the University Senate (USE) or Council (UCO), as appropriate, depending on which body a session committee reported to. The Vice-Chancellor's Archive includes policy files which relate to the work of some of these committees; this is indicated in the related material field of each committee.

Corresponding committees of the former UMIST form part of the UMIST archives (TGB), unless the committee was a joint committee with the VUM.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names