The Anchor Line Ltd

The recent opening of the Anchor Line Restaurant at 12-16 Vincent Place is a wonderful example of current organisations utilising the unique materials of an archive to inform the creation of something new. Taking inspiration from the archive of the Anchor Line Ltd held by the University of Glasgow, the Di Maggio group has opened a restaurant that reflects the history of this company and the building.

University of Glasgow Library Blog

In August, Archive Services were contacted by the Di Maggio’s Group who were restoring the Anchor Building at 12-14 St Vincent Street in Glasgow. The Anchor Building was designed by James Miller and had been built in 1905-07 as offices for the Anchor Line Ltd, a shipping company.

Brochure for the Anchor Building Brochure for the Anchor Building, c.1908 (Ref: UGD255/1/38/1/5)

The Anchor Line Ltd had its beginnings in 1838 when two brothers, Nicol and Robert Handyside, established themselves in Glasgow, Scotland, as shipbrokers and merchants. In 1856 it ran its first transatlantic crossing and by the twentieth century it ran regular transatlantic crossings, Mediterranean cruises and passenger sailings to India and Pakistan. The company had distinctive Scottish roots and was famous for its sleek ships and for the comfort it offered its travellers at a very affordable cost.

At Archive Services we hold the business records for the Anchor Line Ltd which include series of records such as advertising…

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Art Critic Clare Henry’s archive comes to GSA

Clare Henry in the Mackintosh Library at The Glasgow School of Art (courtesy of The Herald)

Clare Henry in the Mackintosh Library at The Glasgow School of Art (courtesy of The Herald)

We are pleased to announce that Clare Henry, former art critic for the Herald, has donated her archive to the Glasgow School of Art.

The Glasgow Herald’s art critic for 20 years is now based in New York where she writes for the FT and a range of US and UK magazines. Clare Henry has been a key voice in visual art criticism for more than 35 years and her archive consists of over 10,000 pieces of critical writing, annotated catalogues and exhibition publicity material.

“We are delighted to have been given this rich collection,” says Susannah Waters, GSA’s Archivist. “Clare Henry’s time with The Glasgow Herald coincided with a growing recognition of the role of visual arts in the city during the 1980s and 1990s. We already have a wide range of Glasgow School of Art documents relating to this period. Clare’s writings provide a complementary perspective, a critical appreciation of work being created and shown. It will be an excellent resource for researchers looking at the visual arts in Glasgow and beyond in the latter part of the 20th and early part of the 21st century.”

“Although other places and institutions in the UK & the USA were interested, (today the internet makes distance no object), Glasgow seemed fitting,” says Clare Henry. “Although much of my writing was and is international my mother, my son and I are all art school trained and I felt that GSA would be a very good place for my archive. I hope my gift, will be helpful to both to GSA Archives and to Glasgow.”

“ Since Glasgow City of Culture 1990, the arts have put Glasgow on the international map,” adds Henry. “I hope The Clare Henry Archive will help it stay there.”

GSA’s Archives and Collections staff are currently cataloguing and repacking the documents and a catalogue for the collection will be available online from the summer of 2014. A range of the documents from the Clare Henry Archive will also be digitised and accessible online.

The Herald today has an article about Clare Henry’s archive. Clare also has a very interesting blog.

Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843-2005

Detail of plate from ‘Flore naturelle - plates 1-40’, Henry Lambert, Paris, Ch. Claesen, c.1890.  Courtesy The Glasgow School of Art Library, Special Collections, Stoddard Design Library.

Detail of plate from ‘Flore naturelle – plates 1-40’, Henry Lambert, Paris, Ch. Claesen, c.1890.
Courtesy The Glasgow School of Art Library, Special Collections, Stoddard Design Library.

Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843-2005, a new exhibition curated by Dr Helena Britt from the School of Design at The Glasgow School of Art, previews this evening.

The Stoddard Templeton companies were Scotland’s most prominent carpet manufacturing innovators. They designed and supplied many iconic carpets, including those for Glasgow Cathedral, the White House, the Titanic and Queen Mary liners and for events such as the Royal Coronations and Festival of Britain.

This exhibition focuses on the Stoddard Templeton Design Library, a unique resource used by designers to inspire and aid the design process. The Library contains a rich array of material amassed from the mid-nineteenth to early twenty-first centuries. Through folios, books, designs, films and samples, the exhibition will provide insight into the Design Library’s contents, the Stoddard Templeton design studio, the designers, carpet designing and Design Library utilisation in the creative process. As well as many wonderful folios and books from GSA Library’s Stoddard Templeton Design Library, the exhibition will also feature a number of carpet samples from GSA’s Archives and Collections.

Some of the carpet samples from GSA’s Archives and Collections awaiting installation in the exhibition

The exhibition is set to be an explosion of pattern and colour. It presents a wealth of archival material, which has never before been made public and has been conserved since the sad demise of Stoddard International PLC. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue enhances understanding of carpet design in Scotland and therefore contributes to textile design history.

The Stoddard Templeton Archive was split up amongst various institutions in Glasgow a few years ago. GSA’s library holds the design library of the company (the volumes and folios were originally used by in-house designers as a reference tool and as inspiration, and they are still an important resource for designers today); Glasgow Museums hold the carpets, and Glasgow University Archive Services hold the Design Archive and Corporate Archive. All are invaluable tools for research in a variety of areas including economic and social history, art history and, most appropriately, for creative practice (see, for example, our post about Panel’s project Carpets of Distinction which saw the creation of new carpets designed using the Design Archive at GUAS as inspiration). The exhibition includes items loaned from the Glasgow School of Art Library; The Glasgow School of Art Archives & Collections Centre; Glasgow University Archive Services; The Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster, and private collections.

The exhibition runs from 9 Nov 2013 – 11 Jan 2014 (except 24 Dec – 2 Jan inclusive) and is open Mon-Sat 11am-5pm and on Sundays from 11am-4pm at The Mackintosh Museum, The Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RQ. The preview is this evening, 8th November, from 6pm-8pm.

For more information about the exhibition, see the event website and the BBC’s article about the exhibition.

Artists using Archives: Seamus Nolan, more adventurous thinking…

The National College of Art and Design Gallery (NCAD Gallery) and The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) are delighted to present the exhibition ‘more adventurous thinking…’ from the archive of Dorothy Walker, with artist response from Seamus Nolan.

Dorothy Walker with a work by Patrick Ireland c.1990

Dorothy Walker (1929 – 2002) was a dynamic and influential art critic and author who played a central role in many of the most significant events in Irish visual art in the second half of the 20th century. During her active life she kept an archive, recently bequeathed to the National Irish Visual Arts Library, Dublin. The archive charts the scope and diversity of her interests and is essential information for the understanding of Modernism in the context of the visual arts in Ireland.

Earlier this year NIVAL were fortunate to be awarded a grant from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the recently launched Philanthropy Initiative specifically to create an online catalogue devoted to the Dorothy Walker Archive. Without this funding it would not be possible for the Library to dedicate time in cataloguing this wonderful resource and subsequently could not celebrate her archive through exhibition at NCAD Gallery.

NIVAL has begun the development of this online catalogue of the collection that will provide an overview of the material, identifying key events and personalities, and establish a chronology of the documentation. The collection documents her involvement with institutions and projects such as Rosc, Guinness-Peat Aviation Awards, the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the International Association of Art Critics (IACA), and with artists such as Brian O’Doherty, Patrick Scott, Sean Scully, Ciaran Lennon James Coleman, Eileen Gray, Joseph Beuys and poet Seamus Heaney.

In response to the Dorothy Walker archive, visual artist Seamus Nolan engages select works of art of the early modernist period in the context of NCAD Gallery. Private collectors and museums are approached by way of written invitation to consider the compatibility of these works of art within this contemporary gallery structure. The Gallery is subjected to the standards and processes applicable to the exhibition and handling of museum objects through detailed measurement of the environmental conditions; specifically humidity, temperature, light and ultra violet levels.

The National Irish Visual Arts Library is a partnership project of the National College of Art and Design and the Arts Council of Ireland.

For further information see the event website, or contact:
Anne Kelly, Curatorial Coordinator, NCAD Gallery, 01.636.4390
Donna Romano, Acting Head Librarian, NCAD Library, 01.636.4347

The National College of Art and Design Gallery, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8. 

NCAD Gallery opening hours are 1pm-5pm, Monday-Friday. The exhibition continues until Friday, 20th September 2013.

In the Loop: Knitting Reference Library at University of Southampton

The Knitting Reference Library at The University of Southampton

The Knitting Reference Library at The University of Southampton

We’ve recently discovered a wonderful resource for all things knit.

The Knitting Reference Library is based at the University of Southampton’s Winchester Campus. It includes about 3,000 books, over 10,000 knitting patterns plus knitting pattern books and a comprehensive collection of journals and magazines. The printed books date back to the 1840s commencing with about 70 Victorian knitting manuals. The knitting patterns commence in the 1920s and  cover a wide variety of  knitted clothing, knitting for the home, knitted dolls’ clothes and knitted novelties. The knitting patterns are complimented by a wide selection of knitting pattern books.

The foundation of this resource is made up of material from Richard Rutt, Montse Stanley and Jane Waller. Visitors are welcome to use this resource, please contact for more information.

 Check out the blog for the Knitting Reference Library.

Mitchell Library access to online music archive: Rock’s Backpages

Members of Glasgow’s Mitchell Library have just been given digital access to an extensive online music archive. Rock’s Backpages contains over 20,000 classic articles on many musical artists across all music genres by some of the most prolific music-journalists of the last 50 years.

A library of over 300 audio interviews, including conversations with Leonard Cohen, Little Richard and Johnny Cash is the best resource available through the site which also boasts a limited selection of transcribed reports, interviews and music reviews. The magazine archive promises to yield some interesting information on the designers and photographers behind the cover art featured on the likes of New Musical Express, Sounds and Rolling Stone although note charges apply.Access this online resource in all Glasgow Libraries and from home, or the Art School by entering your Glasgow Libraries card number at “Login via your library”. It’s possible to join Glasgow Libraries free of charge. For immediate access to all resources click here.
Visit the Rock’s Backpages website for more information.
Reblogged from the wonderful GSA Library Art and Design Resources blog.

RCAHMS now on Flickr

View of clock-tower at Singer's Sewing Machine Factory, Clydebank. Demolished 15 March 1963. Image credit: RCAHMS

View of clock-tower at Singer’s Sewing Machine Factory, Clydebank.
Demolished 15 March 1963. Image credit: RCAHMS

RCAHMS (The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland) has launched a Flickr site.

RCAHMS collects, records and interprets information on the architectural, industrial, archaeological and maritime heritage of Scotland. It holds an archive of over 18 million items including photographs and albums from the 1840s to the present day, original architects’ drawings, excavation plans, new survey drawings, engravings, sketches, books, manuscripts and maps, offering a unique insight into the special nature of Scotland’s places. RCAHMS’ database Canmore contains images and information on over 300,000 archaeological and architectural sites across Scotland, and over 150,000 images are available to view online on their website.

RCAHMS will be updating their Flickr site with images from their collection regularly. So far they have published a lovely photo of the Singer Sewing Machine Factory in Clydebank, and The Fife Earth Project at Lassodie.

Visit their Flickr, and see the RCAHMS website for more information.

Observing the Eighties

A retrospective look at the 1980s as remembered by the people who lived through Thatcher’s Britain is the basis of a new digital archive project. The project combines previously distinct collections from the Mass Observation Project, British Library Oral History Collections and the University of Sussex Library to create an open access resource for teaching and research purposes.

The most historically relevant materials from the Mass Observation Archive – a collection of diaries and observations commissioned from volunteer writers about life in Britain – have been selected and digitised for website visitors to explore. This content is complemented by oral history recordings from the British Library’s sound archive collection, comprising interviews with members of the public on themes associated with the 1980s.

Subjects covered include the Falkland’s War, Thatcher’s Britain, AIDS, Charles and Diana’s wedding, the miners’ strike, terrorism, unemployment and immigration. The online collection of printed and written materials includes period ephemera from University of Sussex Library such as public information leaflets, pamphlets, posters and tickets. In addition, ‘infographics’ created especially for the site, and a social media feed give some context to the period.

Rather than being a nostalgic nod to a decade still ridiculed for its naff fashion and clunky technology, this resource puts renewed emphasis on the socially historic importance of the 1980s, a time which saw the highest levels of unemployment since the 1930s and widespread public protest. In a Britain experiencing another wave of austere Tory cuts, it seems appropriate that we learn from our not so distant past through these types of resources.

See here for more information.

Reblogged from the wonderful GSA Library Art and Design Resources blog.

Dunkeld’s Archives go down the drain

Dunkeld’s archives used to be housed at the top of one of the stone towers at Dunkeld Cathedral, Strathtay. Their new home, in formerly disused public conveniences at a prominent position in a corner of the town cross, was officially opened today.