Signing off

After five years working at GCU Archive Centre and nearly a decade overall in the Sir Alex Ferguson Library and Archives, I’m leaving my post as Archive Assistant.

It may seem self-indulgent to write a valedictory going away message, but I wanted to use this a chance to reflect and be thankful for the time I have had here, the skills I’ve learned, the habits ingrained, and most importantly, the people I’ve worked with. Continue reading

Shades of Gray – guest blog by Douglas Erskine

We know the Oscar Marzaroli Collection is a great source of inspiration and our guest blogger, Douglas Erskine, uses one of Oscar’s photographs as the starting point for this contribution on Gray Day 2021. Douglas is a researcher and writer with a strong interest in Scottish art. He is currently preparing a monograph on the life and work of the Glasgow artist Alan Fletcher (1930-58).

Of all the images donated to Glasgow Caledonian University by the family of the great Scottish photographer Oscar Marzaroli, few are as striking as the photograph of a young Alasdair Gray posing with his cadaverous alter ego – a portrait by Alan Fletcher – at the 1959 exhibition which Gray organised in his late friend’s memory. Continue reading

Keeping Scottish social enterprise stories

It has been a memorable year and one that we will remember for the rest of our lives.  But although we have been living through the same pandemic, everybody’s experience of life under COVID-19 has been different.  Like many, the social enterprise sector has struggled with lock-down, businesses closed, staff furloughed, often relying on additional funding to keep their heads above the water.  But it has also been a time where social enterprises have come to the fore, stepping in to meet local needs and provide vital services for their communities.  Social enterprises have demonstrated their value by providing services like food for vulnerable and needy people, bikes for frontline workers, activities for children, and shown how business motivated by serving the public good, rather than self-profit, has helped strengthen communities. Continue reading

Archive Centre update on our Scottish Government funded social enterprise project

The first phase of the Scottish Government funded project, ‘Future Development of the Social Enterprise Collection (Scotland)’, has now come to an end.  The University’s Archive Centre and Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health have been working on the project since November 2018 to preserve and catalogue existing social enterprise collections and carry out research and outreach work to showcase and build on the collections. Although the Archive Centre reading room is closed at the moment and there is no access to the physical collections, we are able to share digital outputs of the project with you. Continue reading

Sir Alex Ferguson: my story in objects

Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson CBE has enjoyed a spectacular career in football, both as a player and manager. He was born in Govan on Hogmanay 1941 to parents Alexander, a plater’s helper in the shipbuilding industry, and Elizabeth (née Hardie). After obtaining his Secondary School Certificate he completed an apprenticeship as a toolmaker with Remington Rand. His senior football playing career lasted from 1958 to 1974, when he entered management with East Stirlingshire, St Mirren and Aberdeen, before joining Manchester United in 1986. Continue reading

What we do

My brother is getting married this weekend, and along with revising my best man speech (gulp), I’m also anticipating a lot of relatives and newly minted in-laws asking the perennial question; what is it you do again?

sign for GCU Archive Centre in foreground. Behind can see red lockers

GCU Archive Centre reading room

As ever, I’ll smile and reply that I work as an archive assistant. They’ll nod, pause and then ask, but what do you do? And that’s where it gets tricky.

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Getting social in the archives

The life of a project archivist can sometimes be quite isolated.  You can spend hours on your own in the archives arranging and cataloguing records. But sometimes a project comes along where you get to interact more with people, as I have discovered working on the Social Enterprise Collection (Scotland).

Colour photograph of Project Archivist working at a desk with bundles of papers with Archive Centre banner in the background.

Working on records in the Archive Centre

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Archive Centre holds the Social Enterprise Collection (Scotland) which is a national archive of records from organisations and individuals involved in the social enterprise movement across Scotland.  Continue reading