University of Manchester Careers Service Archive

Scope and Content

Archive of the University of Manchester Careers Service (formerly Appointments Board). The archive dates predominantly from the 1950s to the 1980s, and includes annual reports, service guides, careers events documentation, and miscellaneous reports produced by and for the Service. Perhaps the most significant records are the series of policy files (UCS/5) dating mainly from the 1960s to the 1980s, which deal with subjects such as female employment, equal opportunities, relations with employers, race relations, and service's relationship with other University departments. Also of note are a series of papers and writings (UCS/4) of Bernard Holloway, secretary of the Service, 1960-1984, which were published in the specialist periodical and national newspapers, and provide an interesting commentary on the graduate employment issues from the 'boom' years of the 1960s to growing concerns about graduate unemployment and under-employment in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Administrative / Biographical History

Although the University provided careers advice since before the First World War, it was not until 1934 that an official careers service, known as the Appointments Board, was established. Its purpose was to provide information to students about possible careers and employment opportunities, and to liaise with employers, predominantly those in the local area, about the employment of the University's graduates. The Board was established in part because of concerns about graduate unemployment, and to encourage employers in certain sectors [e.g. commerce and retail] to employ graduates. The service was voluntary, and many employers who recruited Manchester graduates continued to do so directly from the relevant departments (this was especially the case for science and technology subjects).

The Appointments Board was initially run by a clerk, but a full-time secretary was appointed in 1937, and this became a dual appointment after the second World War. An Appointments Board, a joint committee of Council and Senate, on which employers were also represented, was appointed to supervise the work of the service [the term Appointments Board therefore applied to both the service and the committee which supervised it].

In the post-war period the Board built contacts with many UK firms, as employers began to take a more structured approach to the annual recruitment of graduates. It held regular careers conferences, provided careers orientation interviews for students and training in interviewing techniques, as well as running a library of information resources. The Appointments Board's remit extended to Faculty of Technology students and in 1959 an office was opened at Manchester College of Science and Technology (later UMIST). In the 1960s, the Board developed the 'Manchester Clearing House' lists, which provided graduating students with access to unfilled vacancies for that year. This service was taken over by the Central Services Unit for University and Polytechnic Careers Services (CSU) in 1972, which was based in Manchester. The Appointments Board changed its name to the Careers and Appointments Service in 1970, although the supervisory committee continued to be known as the Appointments Board until the late 1980s, when it was renamed the Careers Service Board.

The Appointments Board became a much more significant body from the 1960s as both student numbers and graduate opportunities expanded. This development owed much to the dynamic figure of Bernard Holloway (1918-1995), the Secretary from 1960 to 1984. Holloway was an outspoken figure, who ensured that the Manchester Service was one of the most prominent in the higher education sector. He was a frequent contributor to the specialist and national press on graduate employment issues, arguing for universities and students to focus more employability and occupational flexibility in line with the needs of employers, and to avoid over-production of graduates in areas where long-term employment was uncertain. Holloway also helped set up the Register of Graduate and Employment and Training (ROGET).

The Appointments Board was based originally in the basement of the Whitworth Hall, it then moved to 316-324 Oxford Road, later to 274 Oxford Road, before relocating to Crawford House, Precinct Centre in the early 1970s. Most of the Service is now based in the University Place building.

Secretaries/Directors of the Appointments Board/Careers Service

  • K Gifford 1934-1937? [clerk]
  • O B Schill, 1937-1951
  • K A Bayley 1946-1951
  • J D Culverwell, 1951-1960
  • M Robinson, 1951-1957
  • Bernard Holloway, 1960-1984
  • E N Lloyd, 1984-1996
  • Keith Dugdale 1996-1999
  • Jane Ratchford 1999-


Arranged by series:

  • UCS/1 - Annual Reports
  • UCS/2 - Careers Service Guides
  • UCS/3 - Careers events documentation
  • UCS/4 - Bernard Holloway's writings
  • UCS/5 - Secretary's policy and subject files
  • UCS/6 - Reports
  • UCS/7 - Staff meetings minutes
  • UCS/8 - Miscellaneous

Access Information

Records in this collection are open to any accredited reader, unless otherwise stated.

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

Transferred by the University of Manchester Careers Service in two accessions: the first is unrecorded but believed to have occurred in the mid-1980s; the second tranche of records was transferred in October 2002. Further accessions of (digital) records were made in 2017 and 2019. The latter have not yet been catalogued.

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.

Appraisal Information

The archive has been appraised, and some material disposed of. Appraisal report available.


Accruals are expected.

Related Material

The annual reports of the Board (1949-1996) can also be found in the Reports of Council (UOP/2). USC/6 comprises minutes of the Appointment Board, 1934-1997. The Vice-Chancellor's Archive has files relating to the general running of the Careers Service, see VCA/7/1, VCA/7/582, VCA/7/724, VCA/7/778.

Some of Bernard Holloway's personal papers are held by the Institute of Education, University of London (ref: GB 0366 HOL).

Geographical Names