Key Features

This large collection contains the manuscripts, papers, and other interesting artefacts relating to the history of the College and its members, as well as prominent Unitarians.

  • College Minute Books [transcripts available]
  • Papers relating to the College in Oxford and its previous locations in London, York, and Manchester, as well as its predecessor, the Warrington Academy
  • College photographs from most years from 1893
  • Manuscript collection: correspondence, diaries, lectures, sermons of College members and others, including: James and Harriet Martineau; Joseph Blanco White; V.D. Davis; Lant and Russell Lant Carpenter; J.E. Carpenter; Thomas Belsham; George Armstrong; John Taylor; John James Tayler; John Seddon; Joseph Priestley; Edwin Odgers; John McLachlan; and the Arlosh, Aspland, Herford, Wicksteed, and Wood families.
  • Glass lantern slides: our physical collection has been digitised by the Historic Environment Image Resource Project. for more information and to contribute see: HeirTagger
  • Egyptian artefacts: research into this collection is ongoing

For the most up to date (though not exhaustive) listing of the Archive holdings please see the Porter Catalogue of Manuscripts in Harris Manchester College (searchable PDF).


Researchers may find it helpful to consult some of the secondary sources dealing with the history of the College and its antecedents. These give a flavour of the content of the Archive collections: 

  • Truth, Liberty, Religion: Essays Celebrating Two Hundred Years of Manchester College edited by Barbara Smith (Oxford: Manchester College, 1986) 

  • A History of Manchester College: From its Foundation in Manchester to its Establishment in Oxford by V.D. Davis (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1932)  

  • Manchester College: A short history, 1786-1990 by J.H. Parker and Richard Ennis (Oxford: Manchester College, 1990) 

Check our other collections here: