Archive of the University of Manchester, Faculty of Arts

Scope and Content

The Faculty of Arts archive consists of the minutes of the main Faculty committees, including the Board of Faculty, 1903-2004 (FAR/1), Research Committee (FAR/2), the Committee on Policy and Planning (FAR/3), Teaching Standards (FAR/4), Policy, Planning and Resources (FAR/5), Standard and Quality (FAR/6), Graduate School Committee (FAR/7), Information Systems (FAR/8) and Library (FAR/9).

Collectively, these records provide important information on the development of the curriculum and examining for arts subjects at the University of Manchester. It complements information on teaching and research to be found in both departmental archives (where extant) and Senate records.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1903 the newly independent University of Manchester introduced a system of faculty organization for aspects of academic governance and administration. Initially, there were five faculties: arts, science, law, music and medicine; these were joined by theology and commerce in late 1903, technology in 1905, and education in 1914.

The Faculties were composed of academic departments in related subjects areas, and were responsible for admissions, curricula, and examinations for these subjects. Faculties were headed by a dean, with the boards of Faculty composed of all academic members of staff within the Faculty above the level of assistant lecturer. The Boards were empowered to recommend to Senate regulations for courses of study and the appointment of examiners. By the later twentieth century Faculties had appointed a range of standing committees for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, research, staff-student relations, and a dean's advisory committee.

The Faculty of Arts was one of the original and largest of the faculties. It was responsible at various times for the departments of English, classics (Greek and Latin), art history, American studies, drama, Middle (Near) Eastern Studies, French, geography, German, history, Italian, psychology , architecture, town and country planning, Russian and Spanish. In 1987, it became responsible for music with the abolition of the Faculty of Music, and in 1992 for the religions and theology subject areas on the abolition of the Faculty of Theology. The Faculty of Arts was dissolved in 2004 on the creation of the new University of Manchester, when its responsibilities were transferred to the Faculty of Humanities.


The archive is arranged by series as follows:

  • FAR/1 - Minutes of Board of Faculty
  • FAR/2 - Minutes of Research Committee
  • FAR/3 - Minutes of the Committee on Policy and Planning
  • FAR/4 - Minutes of the Teaching Standards Committee
  • FAR/5 - Minutes of the Policy, Planning and Resources Committee
  • FAR/6 - Minutes of the Standards and Quality Committee
  • FAR/7 - Minutes of the Graduate School Committee
  • FAR/8 -Computing/Information Services Committee Minutes
  • FAR/9 -Minutes of the Faculty Library Committee
  • FAR/10 - Minor committees minutes
  • FAR/11 -Exam records
  • FAR/12 - Board of Combined Studies

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader, unless otherwise stated. Some items are currently closed to public inspection, and others may require review before access is granted to researchers.

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 to the University Archives by the Faculty of Humanities on 23 November 2005, 11 May 2006, and in April 2010.

Other Finding Aids


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

Collection has been appraised.


Further accruals possible, including missing Board minutes for 1965-1967.

Related Material

The University Archives has custody of the records of all pre-2004 faculties (except the Faculty of Business Administration).

The Vice-Chancellor's Archive has files on the Faculty, VCA/7/2 (1943-1969) and VCA/7/615 (1969-1980), mainly correspondence with the Dean. General Board of Faculties archive (GBF) for Arts Ph.Ds administration until the late 1960s.

Geographical Names