Welcome to the MGS Archive blog. The MGS Archive contains documents, photographs, artefacts and audio-visual material relating to the 500 year history of the school. In fact, our oldest item actually predates the foundation of the school – a deed from 1357 for a building once owned by the school at its previous site at Long Millgate, now in Manchester City Centre.
We have a wide and varied collection including photographs, admissions registers, text books, school uniform, diaries, accounts books, deeds and a host of other materials. They all contribute to providing a first-hand history of MGS. We continue to add to the archive with material from the life of the school as it happens, with material as recent as 2017.
The archive also contains documents relating to the Old Mancunians Association and the three preparatory schools which were once associated with MGS (Sale High School, South Manchester School and North Manchester School)
We hope this blog will provide an insight into the MGS archive – our collections, what we do and the history of MGS as a whole. We hope to share digital images of the archives, updates on our work and pieces of topical research. Comments are very welcome on the blog, but will undergo moderation first before publication, so if your comment does not appear immediately, this will be the reason.
The archive was originally started by Ian Bailey, who maintained a longstanding interest in the history of the school. Various pieces of school documentation and photographs were kept in the school library. However, in the 1980s, some of the oldest documents dating back to the foundation of the school were given to Manchester City Council because the school did not have the resources to adequately care for the material at that time.
In the late 1990s, three retired members of staff, Jeremy Ward (History), John Bever (History) and Bob MacKay (School Doctor) began working in the archives alongside Ian Bailey and sought to continue his legacy when Ian died in 2006. In the run up to the quincentenary, the school decided to employ a professional archivist. In 2010, Rachel Kneale was appointed to the role. Jeremy Ward continues to work in the archive answering the many family history and other enquiries that we receive every week. He has recently been joined by Old Mancunian, Lawrence Copitch. Otto Smart joined us as Archives Assistant in 2016.
The quincentenary in 2015 provided the impetus for improving the management of the archive. We now have an online catalogue and all material is kept in accordance with professional standards. In 2012, the school reunited the older records from Manchester Archives so that we now retain older documents such as the school’s original foundation deeds.
Please get in touch if you have any ideas or requests for information. If you would like to contribute a piece to the blog on some aspect of MGS life or history, then please let us know. We will update the blog on a weekly basis, so do visit again.