Arrival of the Oscar Marzaroli Collection and launch of our fundraising auction

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of the Oscar Marzaroli Collection here at GCU Archive Centre. It is not an easy thing to let go of a loved one’s possessions once they have passed away so I would like to start by wholeheartedly thanking Marie Claire, Nicola and Lisa Marzaroli for their generosity and openness in handing over around 50,000 negatives, slides and transparencies of their Dad’s work, along with his papers, cameras and equipment. Today we celebrate this handover and launch an online auction to kick-start our fundraising campaign.  It is our aim to raise £200,000 to preserve, catalogue and digitise the collection, ensuring Oscar’s work is preserved for future generations.

The purpose of the archive is to preserve, contextualise and make accessible, for the first time, the complete photographic works of Oscar Marzaroli (1933-1988).  Oscar was an Italian-born Scottish photographer and filmmaker who recorded not only the fabric of Glasgow and Scotland but also its character and characters.  It is a key collection in our visual heritage; a collection of national importance. It is full of never-seen photographs; full of the excitement of the unknown. The catalogued archive will facilitate a greater understanding of Oscar’s wider artistic, cultural and social development and practice.

Once the funds have been raised and the work completed, this collection will be available as a research tool for the local, national and international arena. It will provide resources for not only the academic community but also for public, community and cultural engagement. Making the records digitally available for the first time will allow the University to facilitate the sharing of Oscar’s work, capturing his strong affinity with community.

Open access supports learning and research by all communities by providing free access to educational resources and supports the strategic ideal of the University for the Common Good.  The Archive Centre team will enable stories to be told, enable the past to be visualised and enable access to visual inspiration as a tool for creative output.

All of this comes from one man’s vision from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Oscar passed away 31 years ago today and we hope that our celebration with his family will help to mark this anniversary not only with precious memories but also with an eye to an exciting future.  Today his archive of work begins a new journey and we could not be more excited to work with his family to see what paths it takes us on.

To kick-start the fundraising campaign, the family have generously donated 14 archival photographs for auction. The auction is open until 8pm on the 5th of September.

Carole McCallum – University Archivist – 26th August 2019


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