University of Manchester, Department of Music Archive

Scope and Content

The archive is very fragmentary, and is by no means a complete record of the Department's academic activities. Minutes of the departmental board from 1973 are not present and are not believed to be extant.

The archive includes a number of programmes for University music bodies such as the Orchestra and Chorus as well as external performers from the 1960s to the 1970s. There is also a small collection of administrative files, mainly concerning the University Organ in the Whitworth Hall and music groups. It is believed these files were created by departmental staff members other than the head of department. There are also a couple of document books which provide information on University musical groups. The content of the archive therefore focusses on musical performances and music groups, rather than the academic work of the Department.

Administrative / Biographical History

Music was taught at Owens College from the 1880s, when Henry Hyles gave classes in harmony and counterpoint. In the early 1890s, the Victoria University recognised degrees in music, and these were then taught formally at Owens. In 1903, a Faculty of Music was established at the newly-independent University of Manchester. The Department of Music was the only department in this Faculty.

The reputation of the Department was advanced with the appointment of Humphrey Procter-Gregg (1895-1980) as lecturer in music in 1935. Procter-Gregg became the University's first professor of music in 1953, and retired in 1962. He was very active in the extra-mural life of the Department and established the University's first string quartet, Ad Solem. He was succeeded by Hans Redlich (1903-1965), a distinguished musicologist.

The main degrees taught by the Department were the Mus.B and Mus.D, In later years, several masters degrees and diplomas in composition and performance were added to the curriculum. The Department enjoyed close relations with the Royal Manchester School of Music, and later the Royal Northern College of Music, which provided instrumental teaching. In the 1990s, the Department joined with the Department of Drama to form a School of Music and Drama for academic administrative matters. Since 2004, music has been part of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. The Department has operated from several sites over the years, including no.7 Wright St. (since demolished), the Dover St building, the Denmark Road building, and currently the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama.


Arranged by series, chronological within series.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

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.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures in September 2017.

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.


Accruals possible.

Related Material

The University Archives has custody of the records of the School of Music and Drama (uncatalogued).

See also the Faculty of Music archive FMU, the University Music Club archive UMC and the relevant files in the Vice-Chancellor's archive: VCA/7/65, VCA/7/397 and VCA/7/895.

Geographical Names