Banner Tales – Glasgow and the Anti-Apartheid Movement – 13th October 2018

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.

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GCU Library supports Challenge Poverty Week and Health Literacy Month

Saltire Centre and Challenge Poverty Week logo

GCU Library supports Challenge Poverty Week

October is Health Literacy Month and this week is Challenge Poverty Week – GCU Library will be blogging and tweeting our support throughout. Links between poverty and health are well documented. The Shanghai Declaration on Health Promotion recognised health literacy as a ‘critical determinant of health’ and the World Health Organisation puts improved health literacy at the heart of at least 7 of the UN’s sustainable development goals, including no.1 – no poverty. Continue reading

What’s in a name? Royal connection of the Queen’s College, Glasgow

A Wellcome Trust Research Resources Project


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

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. You can find full details of membership including how to register for an Athens account 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

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