GCU students on placement within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC)

Students from a Scottish Higher or Further Education establishment on placement within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) are entitled to membership of NHSGGC Library Network. A student NHSGGC Athens username and password is required. Full details of membership including how to register for an Athens account can be found on the NHSGGC Library Network website.

Membership includes access to:

Please note: monitoring of missing or overdue items will feed in to an annual review of this service. Non-return of items by GCU students may result in this service being withdrawn.

Electrifying Domestic Science – guest blog by Eleanor Peters

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.

Newspaper cutting with photograph of a woman demonstrating an electric vacuum cleaner to a customer

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.[1] 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

Saltire Centre Essential Maintenance: Thursday 30th August

Please be advised that there will be no access to Saltire Centre Level 0 from the George Moore building on Thursday 30th August due to essential maintenance of the Library security gates in this area. All other entrances to the Saltire Centre will remain open during this time.

Access will be restored again on Friday 31st August. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this work.

Tailored to fit

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…

Simon Docherty – Archive Assistant

International collaboration on home economics building healthy communities

A Wellcome Trust Research Resources Project

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

What’s cooking in the “Poverty, Health, Diet and Education in Glasgow” project

A Wellcome Trust Research Resources Project

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

Discover Upgrade: What’s New?

Over the summer the Library team have been giving Discover, the library search engine, a bit of a face lift. Based on feedback from users we have been making improvements and enabling new functionality to bring you the best user experience we can.

If you have any feedback about the improvements made to Discover, please let us know by using our feedback form on the library website or by emailing library@gcu.ac.uk

Locking filters

In Discover, you can now lock the filters on the right hand side of the page. This ensures that the filter remains persistent during your search session, even if you start a new search. Continue reading

A Closer Look

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