To meet someone gifting to the Archive Centre is (at least for this writer) in parts agreeable, humbling, and slightly nerve-inducing – exacerbated manifold if the materials are of personal or sentimental value.
The neatly folded and dry-cleaned blazer which Doreen Blanche brought to the reading room had belonged to her late mother and was the first of its kind received to Glasgow Caledonian University Archive Centre. Pale blue with purple stripes, it was worn by students of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science – colloquially and affectionately referred to as the ‘Dough School’. Later renamed The Queen’s College, Glasgow, it is a founding institution of GCU.
Our Wellcome Trust Research Resources funded project “Poverty, Health, Diet and Education in Glasgow: from Domestic Science to the Allied Health Professions, 1875-1993” is now finished. With its completion comes three comprehensive online catalogues, a glimpse into the archives via a new online exhibition and a set of blogs and tweets built up over a one year period. The door is now open for you to delve in and better understand the amazing story of one strand of our founding institutions. Continue reading →
On a rainy Saturday afternoon stands were assembled, banners unfurled and hung. Pencils sharpened and leaflets laid. All in preparation for the attendees, as they arrived to mellifluous South African music that melded soon with memories regaled.
This was Banner Tales, an event organised by Glasgow Museums, Glasgow University Geography Department, Glasgow Caledonian University Archive Centre, ACTSA Scotland and Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial Foundation with the support of the Raphael Samuel History Centre. The two banners under discussion were from the Scottish Anti-Apartheid Archive held in GCU Archive Centre and Glasgow Life. Each authentic to the time period and rich in colour and history.
One of many events throughout October as part of Black History Month, it also coincided with the week of the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s visit to Glasgow on the 9th of October 1993 to receive the freedom of nine cities.
It was during its centenary year in 1975 that the College received its royal title, the Queen’s College, Glasgow. Before that it was called the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science (Incorporated), a name dating back to 1908 when the two Glasgow cookery schools amalgamated to form the College. At that time it described very precisely (if not concisely) the function of the College, but after the passage of sixty seven years the name no longer fitted its purpose. Continue reading →
Eleanor Peters is a University of Aberdeen PhD student. She has been using the Queen’s College, Glasgow (formerly the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science) records, which are in the final stages of being catalogued as part of the Wellcome Trust Research Resources Project. Many thanks to Eleanor for sharing the fascinating information she has found from the records. I wonder what other areas of research the catalogue will unlock when it goes live later this year. (KM)
Over the last year, I have had the pleasure of visiting the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) archive several times to carry out research for my PhD. As a part-time research student in the second year of my studies, my thesis is still very much ‘taking shape’; however, it was the records for the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science (GWSCDS) which inspired the subject matter of my PhD: Electricity and Domestic Science Institutes in Scotland and England c.1910-1939.
Demonstrating an electric vacuum cleaner, Newspaper cutting February 1934.
Women played an integral role in promoting the uptake of gas appliances in Britain in the late 1800s; large audiences gathered to watch female appliance demonstrators (also known as ‘Lady Demons’!) cook using gas stoves. I wondered if women had also played an active role in demonstrating electrical appliances; being a student at the University of Aberdeen, I naturally turned my attentions to electrical appliance demonstrations in Scotland first. Continue reading →
As part of our Wellcome Trust Research Resource Project and on-going best practice we recently completed a process of measuring and boxing our run of Glasgow Cookery Books. The process began with the precise measuring of each individual tome, which could sometimes vary by only a few millimetres. This was done with a tried and trusted old-school wooden book measuring device, with a movable gauge on a fixed mm ruler base, to establish the width, length and height of each individual item.
The goal was to create a bespoke box for each book, to fit tightly, thereby ensuring full protection from outside elements and to prevent movement and possible damage inside the box while handling.
This list of measurements was sent to Conservation By Design Ltd who then constructed a range of their Premium Drop Spine boxes, in acid and lignin free archival folding boxboard.
The act of fitting our boxes into their new attire was a strangely pleasurable one, or it was, after the initial dread that I may have got the measurements off by a millimetre or two. Everything fitted snugly and our books are now as safe and secure and smart as they ever have been. The boxes even smell good; but that’s a whole other blog…
The 1st International Congress on Home Economics was held in Fribourg, Switzerland, in October 1908. It was attended by 750 delegates, representing 20 countries, who had all come together to share knowledge and experience in the field of Home Economics, and look at the development and promotion of training for its teachers. It was very successful in enabling the exchange of ideas between nations and led to the International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE) being founded during the Congress.
Subsequent International Congresses were held every four, or more, years and each one had a different theme. Continue reading →
We are now two-thirds of the way into the twelve month Wellcome Trust funded project “Poverty, Health, Diet and Education in Glasgow: from Domestic Science to the Allied Health Professions, 1875-1993”. The collections of the Glasgow School of Cookery, West End School of Cookery and the Queen’s College, Glasgow (formerly the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science), are looking very different to when I introduced the project in my first blog, ‘Cooking up a College Catalogue’, back in December. The once colourful shelves filled with an assortment of volumes, boxfiles and miscellaneous boxes have now been transformed into a wall of uniform green archive boxes. Perhaps not so visually stimulating to look at, but giving a real feeling of satisfaction to see so many of the records arranged, cleaned, catalogued and preserved for future access.
Each box, filled with yellow archive folders containing the records, now gives no clues to its contents except for the all-important reference code written on the side, providing the link with the catalogue entry in AtoM. Continue reading →
Despite the extended character limit now available, Twitter remains a place where nuance remains scarce, with the immediate and readily digestible at a premium. A couple of weeks ago we tweeted this from the GCU Library and Archives account. No doubt it is a striking image; arguably it distills the modern perception of the suffrage movement to its absolute fundamentals – a woman is being literally held by the personification of the law, while contemporary men look on in anger and bemusement. Purely on these terms, the photo is successful.
Front cover of ‘The Life of Emmeline Pankhurst’
There is more to it, as an addendum on the book’s back cover notes. It is, I think, worth quoting in full:
‘The illustration on the front of this jacket represents Emmeline Pankhurst, weakened by the hunger and thirst strike, arrested at the gates of Buckingham Palace when the Suffragettes attempted to interview the King on May 21st 1914. The huge policeman gave her a bear’s hug which caused excruciating pain. In her prison cell she suffered for many days.’
These words, written by her daughter Sylvia, give pause. With the benefit of hindsight, it is perhaps easy to fall prey to seeing the success of causes such as women’s suffrage as inevitable – well, of course women were going to get the vote eventually. But think on those words and picture they describe. Someone starving and dehydrated, fifty six years old and aching. The policeman, not gentle, perhaps wanting to make an example. And the men doing nothing but looking on. Continue reading →
The School of Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University offers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in nursing. What is perhaps less well known is that its predecessor institution, the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science (GWSCDS), had ventured into nursing-related courses as early as 1925.
GWSCDS 1926/27 Prospectus
The Diploma and certificate course for sister tutors and dietitians was developed in response to a shortage of nurses and dietitians in the workforce. It was open to trained nurses who would gain the qualification to enable them to teach nurses in training schools. It was also open to Group I diploma students (diploma in cookery, laundrywork and housewifery) who could qualify as hospital, hotel or institutional dietitians. Classes started in September Continue reading →