The departmental estimates were compiled annually for each section of the University, based on estimates and expenditure of the previous financial year, and adjusted for new expenditure (and income). A period of negotiation took place between the Bursar and the departments to achieve an agreed figure, before collated estimates were then submitted to Council for approval. For several years, particularly the earlier period, only the collated University estimates survive, but in other cases, there are copies of each department's return, and supporting correspondence, relating to special requests for new expeditious. These requests were submitted by heads of department for example for equipment purchases or new staff, and by individuals requesting increases in salary etc. Estimates were mostly constituted by salary expenses, and the data in these files provides some idea of salary costs for named individuals.
Estimates files for 1901/2, 1927/8 and the period 1939-1957 are not present.