History and heritage
The University of Manchester holds a special place in history. Our origins as England’s first civic university are closely linked to Manchester’s development as the world’s first industrial city.
We were formed at the birth of the modern world and our founders invested us with progressive principles and a desire to improve people's lives through research and teaching. Throughout our history we have led the way and helped shape the modern world through discovery, ideas and knowledge.
We work hard to preserve our heritage, which you can enjoy today by visiting our collections and taking tours of the historic buildings on campus.
Find out more about our achievements and the key landmarks in our history.
See what work we’re currently doing on the history of the University.
Explore the history of the original English civic university.
Learn about the conservation work we undertake on our buildings and our collections.
Hear from our staff and students about their heroes from the University's past.
Knowledge, Wisdom and Humanity booklet
Read about some of the highlights from our history and heritage in our Knowledge, Wisdom and Humanity: Portraits from Our Past booklet.
Download the PDF document (8.6MB)
World War I
The Great War had a profound impact on the University. We remember the contribution of our staff and students in this centenary year.