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University begins first ever attempt to record its historic objects

02 Nov 2017

Help us locate artefacts from a bygone age here on campus

Schuster multiprism spectroscope

The University has a large and diverse collection of art and artefacts relating to its past. These are known as the University Collections and are separate from the collections in the Manchester Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery and the Library.

The University Collections was established in 2016 to provide a way for us to care for all our important art and historic artefacts across campus. University History and Heritage is responsible for ensuring that we care for all these objects and to do that they need your help!

The University has never before attempted to catalogue and record all of its art and historic artefacts.

University History and Heritage have been working hard to identify and record items that are now part of the University Collections – but there are so many items across the campus they would like colleagues to help by completing the form below.

What are the University Collections?

All the University’s historic objects and pieces of art outside the Cultural Institutions and Library are part of the University Collections.

The University Collections relate to the history of the University and its predecessor institutions, its teaching and research, and its people and communities.

The University Collections are diverse and, for example, include:

  • A significant amount of art, including a large amount of portraiture of key figures;
  • Extensive collections of scientific instruments and apparatus, such as the Museum of Medicine and Health and the Computer Science Collection;
  • Ceremonial and decorative objects related to the University, including silverware and gowns;
  • Objects relating to staff and student life, such as historic University blazers, sports kit and medals.

There are many other types of objects and if you are unsure, it is better to let colleagues in University History and Heritage assess whether the item is part of the University Collections. 

What is not part of the University Collections?

All items that are part of the Manchester Museum, The Whitworth, the University Library (including the Special Collections) and some collections used for teaching such as in geology.

The University Archive is part of the University Library’s Special Collections and if you locate document or photographs you should contact Special Collections. 

Do you know of an artefact?

To report an item, visit:

More information

For more information about our University Collections, visit: