Hester Adrian Research Centre Collection

Scope and Content

This collection of documents is believed to be the only surviving archive of the Centre. It comprises the Director's reports, 1971-1974, 1977-1978 (7 items, the reports were submitted to the Advisory Committee). There are bibliographies and reports on research and publications by Centre staff for 1969-1978 (3 items), a report by Professor Mittler "The Hester Adrian Research Centre: a framework for future development" (1974) and an offprint by Professor Mittler "Learning processes in the mentally handicapped: the work of the Hester Adrian Research Centre" from Education Research in Great Britain 1972.

Administrative / Biographical History

The University's Hester Adrian Research Centre undertook research into the education of mentally handicapped children. The Centre resulted from a proposal by Hester Adrian (1899-1966), vice-chair of the National Association of Mental Health; in 1965 the University agreed to set up a centre at Manchester, with the NAMH raising funds. The Centre was originally intended to be named after President J.F. Kennedy, but following Hester Adrian's death in 1966, it was agreed to name it after her. The Centre formally opened in 1969 as a department of the University.

The Centre undertook research into the learning processes of disabled children and adults, including the methods of training and teaching of the mentally handicapped. There was a particular emphasis on the applied side of this work. The Centre had close connections with statutory bodies which oversaw the training of practitioners in this area.

The Centre was supervised by an Advisory Committee, and was independent of any Faculty, until it became part of the Faculty of Medicine in the 1990s. Funding was provided by Social Sciences Research Council as well as by charitable bodies and other public agencies. The Centre's First director was Peter Mittler, who was also professor of special education. He was succeeded in 1984 by Professor Chris Kiernan, who was director until 2001.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from various University administrative offices between 1990-2010.

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

Minutes of the HRAC Advisory Committee up to 1979 can be found in USC/1; post-1978 minutes have not been located.

There are two vice-chancellor's files on the Centre, VCA/7/584 (1964-1973) and VCA/7/816 (1973-1980); post-1980 files are uncatalogued.

Geographical Names