Harris Manchester College

Harris Manchester College was founded in 1786 as the Manchester Academy and was one of the final Dissenting Academies to be established. Like its famous predecessor, the Warrington Academy, the College provided higher education to Nonconformists who were excluded from Oxford and Cambridge due to religious tests. While strongly associated with the Unitarian tradition, the College has always been non-denominational and open to all.

The College was successively located in Manchester, York, Manchester, London, and finally, from 1889, in Oxford. The College became Harris Manchester College, and a full constituent member of the University of Oxford, in 1996.

The archives house not only institutional administrative material relating to the College's own history, but also personal collections of prominent Nonconformists, Unitarians, and members of the College. The Library contains an extensive collection of antiquarian books, including items from the Warrington and Exeter academies, and some 11,000, mainly Nonconformist, tracts.

Well known tutors and alumni include Joseph Estlin Carpenter (1844-1927), John Dalton (1766-1844), William Gaskell (1805-1884), James Martineau (1805-1900), Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), and Charles Wellbeloved (1769-1858).

The digitised content available reflects the College’s Dissenting history and focus. For more information, please visit the Harris Manchester College website.