University of Manchester Department of Computer Science (additional)

Scope and Content

Additional papers relating to the University of Manchester Department of Computer Science. These collections include the ICL Dispute papers (MUC/5), personal papers of Tom Kilburn (MUC/7), personal papers of Dai Edwards (MUC/8) and papers of Simon Lavington, which relate primarily to the Department (MUC/9); there is also a small collection of University of Manchester theses relating to computing, written by Departmental staff and students (MUC/6).

These materials are very diverse in nature, but they are particularly informative about the Department's contribution to computing from the 1940s to the 1970s, particularly the development of the Mercury, Atlas and MU5 computers (there is less material on the earlier iterations of the Mark I).

The ICL dispute material is particularly valuable because it is wide-ranging in nature, being brought together by the department to demonstrate its contribution to the development of successive computers as part of an intellectual property dispute.

The Kilburn papers are mainly personal in nature concerning his membership of organisations and various awards he received. Dai Edwards' papers are a mixture of original documents, particularly concerning the SSEM and Mark I computers, together with later documents he created or collected relating to the history of these computers. The Lavington papers are similar in nature, and include original and secondary material relating to the Ferranti and Atlas computers, as well as general material concerning the Department of Computer Science

Administrative / Biographical History

Descriptions, where relevant are given at the series level; see also the administrative history in the main MUC collection.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 2018. The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process 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 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.

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 ICL dispute papers (MUC/5) were retained at the School of Computer Science, following the resolution of the dispute in the early 1980s. They were transferred to the University Library in 2012. This accession include the theses which make up MUC/6, and which were originally filed with the ICL papers, together with the independent collection of Tom Kilburn papers (MUC/7). The Dai Edwards papers (MUC/8) and Simon Lavington papers (MUC/9) were originally in the custody of Professor Simon Lavington until they were donated to the Library in March 2016.


None expected to the series of records in this catalogue.

Related Material

The main Department of Computer Science collection includes closely-related material, including some of Simon Lavington's papers relating to his research on voice recognition.


Simon H. Lavington, History of Manchester Computers (Manchester: 2nd edition, 1998).

Geographical Names