Whitworth Meteorological Observatory Records

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 WMO
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      18 items Some volumes show standard wear and tear.
  • Location
      Collection available at University Archive and Records Centre, main University Library.

Scope and Content

The collection comprises the surviving registers of meteorological data collected at the Whitworth Meteorological Observatory, Manchester (1910, 1919-1936). The record books follow the national Meteorological Office's standard format (form 3100). The records provide daily data on barometric pressure, temperatures, wind, cloud, rainfall, sunshine,and Beaufort data, as well as additional comments on noteworthy weather phenomena.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Whitworth Meteorological Observatory was established in 1892 in Whitworth Park, Manchester, with funds provided by the legatees of Sir Joseph Whitworth.

The Observatory undertook daily collection of meteorological data which it supplied to local newspapers for publication. In 1901, the Observatory became a second class station of the Meteorological office in London (another local weather station existed at Oldham Road, Manchester).

The Observatory was run mainly by members of the University's physics department, which had developed meteorology as a specialised area of interest. The Observatory continued its work until it was destroyed by fire in 1958. In 2010 the University of Manchester established a new Whitworth Meteorological Observatory at a campus site.


Arranged chronologically.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

The records were transferred to the University of Manchester Library in 1937.

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.


None expected.

Related Material

The Whitworth Observatory supplied data to the Meteorological Office. Some of these records now form part of the National Meteorological Archive, Exeter, including the climatological returns 1901-1958 (Archive V23-V38), rainfall data, 1896-1958 (VO1.A-VO.5A), and the WMO station history files (ref. Z21.L1-Z20.H2 Box 241).


There is a brief description and photograph of the Observatory in Arthur Schuster The Physical Laboratories of the University of Manchester (1906) , pp.31-33.

Geographical Names