Donald Brothers: Working to Conserve Textile Heritage

Exciting news! We also have an archive of Donald Brothers material:

The Working Archive

Who: Donald Brothers Collection
Job: Conservator
Where: Galashiels
When: 2011
Archive: Heriot-Watt University Heritage and Information Governance

Heritage and Information Governance at Heriot-Watt University has just completed the first stage of a large project to conserve, rehouse and photograph the large fabric samples from Dundee firm Donald Brothers.

Donald Brothers was one of the leading Scottish firms designing and manufacturing furnishing fabrics in the 20th century. Growing out of the jute industry the firm initially produced canvases for sacks and sails but by the 1890s had moved into making textured canvases and figured linens for furnishings. The firm’s success was initially linked to the Arts and Crafts movement in both Britain and the United States and in the 20th century started producing printed as well as woven designs. The firm was highly regarded for the quality of their fabric and used leading designers such as Marion Dorn, Robert Stewart, Eva…

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New user case studies

We’ve just added some more user case studies to our website so you can find out about how various types of researchers have been using the Archives and Collections Centre.

DC077/11Carpet sample from our Stoddard Templeton collection, featuring tomato plant design

DC077/11 Carpet sample from our Stoddard Templeton collection, featuring tomato plant design

In these new case studies Helena Britt discusses her research for the recent Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843-2005 project which resulted in the exhibition currently on display in the Mackintosh Gallery; Jade Richardson, a Glasgow School of Art Product Design student tells us about how she used our resources in her research for a WW1 memorial project; and Annie Lavety, Retail Manager at GSA Enterprises, tells us how she used our collections to research and develop new products for GSA’s shop.

NMC 204, War scene with wounded soldiers, by Charles Davidson, 1914

NMC 204, War scene with wounded soldiers, by Charles Davidson, 1914

So visit the case studies section of our website, read about what other users have been up to, and get inspired!

Remember you can always contact us if you would like to use our archives and collections for your own research, be it family history, academic, educational, commercial or for creative practice.

Endangered St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross awarded lottery funding


Gillespie, Kidd & Coia’s A-listed St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, thought by some to be a landmark example of Modernist architecture, has been awarded £565,000 of Heritage Lottery funding.

The Heritage Lottery Fund award will allow NVA to develop plans to restore St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross. However NVA will still need to raise a further £7.5 million to finish the project. NVA aims to partially restore parts of the seminary, including the chapel, and maintain the rest of the site as a modern ruin which can be visited.

Angus Farquhar, creative director of NVA, said: “The seminary building is held in high regard throughout the world. It has now been given the chance of a second life after 25 years of decline. Now, nearly 50 years on from the day it opened, we witness the first steps in a new and radical form of regeneration; one that accepts loss and ruination as part of the site history and sets out a mission to imaginatively re-use a great late modernist structure and in so doing, reflect the same social dynamism and ambition with which it was conceived.”

GSA Archives and Collections holds and cares for the archive of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia, which includes original plans, job files and photographs relating to the seminary at Cardross. See our website for more information, or take a look at our previous blog posts about Gillespie, Kidd & Coia.