University of Manchester, Department of American Studies Archive

Scope and Content

The archive comprises American Studies departmental board minutes from 1973-1976 only.

Administrative / Biographical History

The origins of the department can be traced to 1948, when Isaac Kandel (1881-1965) was appointed professor of American Studies. This was the first appointment of its kind in the UK, and followed the recommendations of a Faculty of Arts committee which had reported in 1946 in favour of establishing the subject. Kandel, who was Manchester-born, but had taught in the US for many years, helped establish the subject, initially as part of general arts degree courses.

When Kandel retired in 1950, the chair in American studies was held in abeyance for several years. However, due to energy and enthusiasm of the lecturer Marcus Cunliffe (1922-1990), originally appointed by Kandel, American history and institutions continued to be taught. Cunliffe also helped develop rich resources for the subject in the University Library. In 1950 Maldwyn Jones (1922-2007) was appointed lecturer in the department of history, and from 1955, Geoffrey Moore (1920-1999) taught American literature in the department of English. In 1959, Cunliffe was appointed professor of American history and institutions.

Before Cunliffe left for the University of Sussex in 1965, an honours degree was introduced in American Studies. The subject was later taught as part of joint degrees with English, Russian and Latin American studies, as part of the Combined Studies degrees.

Cunliffe was succeeded by maldwyn Jones as head of department, and later heads of department included Dennis Welland, Peter Marshall and Robert Burchell. In the 1980s, the department introduced third year exchange programmes with US universities as part of the course. In 1996, the department merged with English to form the Department of English and American Studies.

Access Information

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. Material in this collection will be subject to review before public access is granted.

Acquisition Information

The material was acquired by the Archives in May 2006 in a deposit of records of the former Faculty of Arts.

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.


Further accruals possible

Related Material

The Vice-Chancellor's archive has a file on the department (VCA/7/412) covering the years 1951-1964. The papers of Denis Welland include his typescript lecture on the department, compiled in 1988 (DSW/1/4/1/2).

Geographical Names