Minute Books of the Excavation Committee of the Manchester Classical Association

Scope and Content

The collection consists of minute books of the Excavation Committee of the Manchester Classical Association. The Excavation Committee was an early example of a professional archaeological organisation who specialised in excavating the sites of Roman ruins in England, and the minutes provide substantial documentation of this work. The minute books refer to projects undertaken by the Committee including excavation work at Melandra Castle, the Roman Forts in Manchester and Castleshaw, and Roman ruins in Ribchester. There are a number of reprints of reports produced by the Committee as well as letters, circulars, and excavation maps and plans.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Manchester branch of The Classical Association were founded in November 1904 at the University of Manchester with a total of 178 members. The branch's major interest in its early years was archaeology and the Excavation Committee, founded in 1905, produced a series of reports on excavations at sites including Melandra Castle[Derby], Manchester and Ribchester [Lancs].

The first significant undertaking of the Committee was the excavation of Melandra Castle, Derbyshire in 1905. The site was the home of an old Roman fort and a report of the Committee's work there was published in 1906. At this stage the work of professional archaeologists was still in its infancy however and the work conducted on the site is today perceived as chaotic. The Excavations Committee would later return to the site for further work between 1935-1939. Following the Second World War the time of the Committee was taken up with work on sites in Manchester which had been affected by bomb damage.

The Committee conducted significant amounts of excavation work in the Manchester area in efforts to uncover the area's Roman history, in particular on the Roman Fort (known as Mancunium) in the Castlefield area of Manchester. Work was also conducted at the Roman ruins in Ribchester and the Roman Fort at Castleshaw.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Deposited at JRUL by Manchester Classical Association on the 29th July 2009.

Archivist's Note

The location of records associated with the Manchester Classical Association are unknown.

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 University Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.


Further accruals possible.