The University collections

The University has a vast array of collections relating our own history and far beyond.

The University collections are the art and historic artefact collections that represent the institutional, disciplinary, social and cultural history of The University of Manchester and its predecessor institutions. These collections are held across campus, and are separate from the Manchester Museum, the Whitworth and The University of Manchester Library.

The University collections enable us to tell stories of our people, places, values and achievements, fostering knowledge exchange with communities beyond campus and forming the basis of powerful object-based learning experiences. Embedded across our physical and digital environment this tangible heritage underpins the distinctive University of Manchester identity, community and learning experience.

The collections are diverse and include:

Technology arch
Technology arch sculpture by Axel Wolkenhauer.
  • Paintings and sculpture, including a large amount of portraiture of key figures;
  • The University’s public art collection;
  • Ceremonial and decorative objects related to the University, including silverware and gowns;
  • Scientific instruments and apparatus, including the Museum of Medicine and Health;
  • Clothing, such as University blazers, sports kit and medals.

The University works hard to conserve its unique material heritage for current and future generations. You can help us support this work.

We welcome opportunities for the collections to be used for exhibitions, research and teaching. Staff and students in the Institute for Cultural Practices use the collections extensively for research and teaching. Please contact for collaboration opportunities with this collection.