They show men drilling in the quad (1914), the former Welsh Chapel in Lime Grove which was incorporated into the refectory (1930), students sitting finals in Whitworth Hall (1939), and others forming an orderly queue outside to be presented with their degrees (1949).
All have just been published in the university's humanities journal, the Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, where researchers explore how the institution developed a number of techniques for reaching out to regional, national and international communities.
As well as forging links with schools and industry, the university seems to have been the first to hold an open day (1937), when anyone could wander in off the street to visit any department they wished.
Another example of Manchester's modernity can be found in its use of an aerial photograph of the institution (an approach that is now a familiar part of university advertising) as part of its marketing efforts in 1919. One image was turned into a postcard to publicise an appeal at the university that year.
Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to matthew.reisz @tsleducation.com.