University of Manchester IT Services Archive

Scope and Content

At present, the IT Services archive comprises records of the Administrative Computer Unit only. However, it is expected that records from Manchester Computing Centre, and its later iterations will be added to the archive in time.

Administrative / Biographical History

The University's IT services had origins in two separate initiatives of the late1960s: the Regional Computer Centre and the Administrative Computing Unit. The ACU was established in 1969 to provide computing services to central administrative departments, primarily the Registrar's office, the Bursar's office, the Estates and Services department and the Library. Computerised systems were introduced firstly for financial administraiton, followed by a payroll system. The ACU's first computer was an ICL 1901A machine (tape-based), which was replaced in 1975 with a ICL 1902T, which had disk drives and 128KB of storage. In 1975 a book cirvculation system was set up the Library using a TPS teleprocessing monitor (this was the first of its kind in the UK). The University switched to a Datapoint system in the 1980s, which eventually introduced a local area network of microprocessor (the mid-1980s the University had around 180 terminals for this purpose). Originally the ACU had its own data entry section, but by the late 1980s University staff were entering data themselves, with the Unit providing programming and systems support.

The University's provision for academic computing was based around the Regional Computer Centre, also established in 1969. This provided computer services for a consortia of North West universities (including Salford, Liverpool, Keele, UMIST and Lancaster). It was headed by a director and was overseen by a University Committee. In 1987, a major restructure of the Centre was undertaken, and it was renamed the Manchester Computing Centre. The MCC provided computing services for the University of Manchester and UMIST, as well as being a national supercomputing centre. In this latter role it was responsible to the Computer Board of Universities and Research Council of the DES. In 1989, the University appointed a Director of Computing Services, with overall charge of all computing provision. 1994, there was a further reorganisation, when ACU became an integral part of the Manchester Computing Centre.

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.

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.

Archivist's Note

The University's computing services have been subject to numerous name changes, and it has been decided to simplify the overall title to the archive to IT Services archive for the sake of simplicity.

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.

Custodial History

The records in UIT/1 were personal copies of the University Librarian, who was a member of ACU committees, and they are not therefore 'official' copies of the minutes. They were transferred to the Archives with other Library records. As official copies of the ACU committees do not appear to have been retained, these copies represent the surviving records of the ACU committees.


Accruals expected.

Related Material

The minutes of the Regional Computer Centre Committee are part of the Council and Senate committees archive, USC/40

Geographical Names