University of Stirling Archives

Wikipedia project: month 1

For three months there will be a new addition to the University of Stirling Archives, a Wikipedian-In-Residence. The first month has flown in already, but articles on Wikipedia have already benefitted from a little dose of information from the archives. It has been an interesting project to undertake due to the range of collections that the archive holds. Although it is one of my goals to transfer some of the knowledge from the archive to Wikipedia, another goal will be to interest the public to come and view our collections themselves.

In the first month, my focus has been driven by how many people view certain collections on the archive website. The Leighton Library, Robert Haldane and John Grierson articles on Wikipedia have all had time dedicated to them, with the addition of a new Wikipedia article on the Stirling District Lunatic Asylum or Bellsdyke as it was later known.

There was also time to visit the Leighton Library and take some internal shots of the first purpose-built library in Scotland, if you want to see the inside for yourself you can pop in Monday-Saturday 11am-1pm.

Photograph of the interior of the Leighton Library

The next month‘s focus will be on the Peter Mackay collection, as well as the Royal Scottish National Hospital, Sam Back and Howietoun Fishery. A lovely range of collections to keep me occupied.

Lucy Rodger is completing a Masters in Environment, Heritage and Policy at the University of Stirling, her residency will run until the end of June 2018.

Archivist, temporary contract (8 weeks)

Information Services
Library and Archives Research Support

Archivist
Grade 6, Point 24
Temporary Appointment for 8 weeks
4 June – 27 July 2018

An opportunity has arisen at the University Of Stirling Archives for a recently qualified archivist to work on a short-term project preparing a number of personal paper collections for a larger project which will catalogue our Commonwealth Games related collections.

The collections relate to three individuals with a long association with Commonwealth sport:

• Sir Peter Heatly (1924-2015), winner of gold medals for diving at three consecutive Commonwealth Games in the 1950s, Vice Chair of the 1970 Edinburgh Games and Chair of the Commonwealth Games Federation from 1982-1990
• Willie Carmichael (1905-1988), Manager of the Scottish Team in 1938, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland from 1950-55, and Director of the 1970 Edinburgh Games
• Douglas Brown (1940-2016), Honorary Secretary of Commonwealth Games Scotland from 1999-2011 and a major figure in Scottish Swimming.

The University of Stirling Archives holds an extensive collection of material relating to the Commonwealth Games including the administrative records of Commonwealth Games Scotland. The University Archives has created a system of arrangement for our Commonwealth Games related collections which is to be applied to the above personal collections in advance of future cataloguing of the material.

The main duties of this short-term contract include:

• Preliminary sorting and arrangement of the above personal paper collections
• Further sorting of Commonwealth Games-related material in these collections into sub-series of records
• Checking and correcting draft Excel lists for Sir Peter Heatly and Willie Carmichael collections
• Updating the box list for the Douglas Brown collection, providing further information on its contents

Job specification:

Essential:

• Postgraduate qualification in archival studies or equivalent
• Previous practical experience working in an archive service (including volunteering)

Desirable:

• Knowledge of / interest in the history of sport
• Knowledge of international archive cataloguing standards
• Experience of using CALM for Archives cataloguing system
• Registered member of the Archives and Records Association

Applications:

Please send an up-to-date CV with a covering letter explaining your interest in the post to Karl Magee, University Archivist at karl.magee@stir.ac.uk

Please use the subject heading CG Archive application in your email.

Closing date for applications is Monday 14 May 2018.

Interviews will be held on the afternoon of Thursday 17 May 2018.

University’s James Hogg Collection in STV programme

The University Library’s James Hogg collection recently featured in an episode of ‘The People’s History Show’ on STV. The piece was filmed in the University Archive and features Duncan Hotchkiss, Literature and Languages, talking about James Hogg. The show was broadcast on 30th April at 8pm and for the next month or so you can watch it on the STV Player (registration required): https://player.stv.tv/episode/3n6b/peoples-history/

 

Helen Beardsley

Academic Liaison Librarian

 

Aussie Hosts and Tartan Champions at the Gold Coast Games

The University Of Stirling Archives was invited by Commonwealth Games Scotland to present a special Australian-themed version of our Hosts and Champions exhibition at Scotland House, Team Scotland’s HQ during the Gold Coast Games. Aussie Hosts and Tartan Champions featured a selection of material relating to Scotland’s participation in the four previous Games held in Australia (Sydney 1938, Perth 1962, Brisbane 1982 and Melbourne 2006).

The exhibition included a range of memorabilia related to Scotland’s participation in previous Australian Games.

Located in the vibrant centre of Surfers Paradise Scotland House provided a central hub for athletes and their families, supporters, sporting officials and the media. The team branding and promotional images of the athletes marked it out as a home-from-home for Scottish visitors to the Gold Coast (with Irn-Bru and Tunnock’s tea cakes being provided during the live coverage of the opening ceremony of the Games!)

During the first week of the Games the exhibition provided the backdrop to a number of events which celebrated the heritage and history of Team Scotland’s experiences competing down under. On 4 April Jon Doig, CEO of Commonwealth Games Scotland, hosted a discussion with a panel of past athletes who had competed at the previous Games held in Australia. Tales of travel and competition were shared from Perth in 1962 through to Melbourne in 2006 and the event also provided our exhibition team with the opportunity to speak about value and importance of the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive.

The panel who participated in the CGS Heritage event on 4 April (left to right): Richard Haynes (CMC, University of Stirling), Karl Magee (University of Stirling Archives), Louise Martin CBE (President of the Commonwealth Games Federation) , Michael Cavanagh OBE (former Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland), Jon Doig OBE (CEO Commonwealth Games Scotland), Colin Gregor (former Scotland Rugby 7s captain)

Other events included a visit from the Queensland Branch of the Australian Society of Archivists, which generated some stimulating discussion relating to the use and promotion of sporting heritage, and an evening reception for Stirling Alumni welcoming former students and staff of the university resident in Gold Coast to the exhibition to find out more about the work of the University Archives.

Our exhibition team welcomed a group of Queensland archivists to Scotland House on 3 April.

The display of our Aussie Hosts and Tartan Champions exhibition in Scotland House during the first week on the Games provided a great opportunity for our archives team to promote the value of Scotland’s sporting heritage to visitors. Gold Coast 2018 ended on 15 April with Team Scotland collecting a record-breaking haul of medals at an overseas Games. Next stop Birmingham in 2022!

The exhibition provided current athletes with an opportunity to learn about the history and heritage of the Games (pictured Viorel Etko, Wrestling)

Scotland House events at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

The University of Stirling Archives is delighted to be presenting Aussie Hosts and Tartan Champions, our specially curated display looking at the history of Scotland’s participation in the four previous Commonwealth Games held in Australia, at Scotland House, Team Scotland’s HQ during the 2018 Gold Coast Games. The exhibition will be on display daily from Monday 2 to Friday 6 April at the Mantra On View Hotel, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast. Our exhibition team will be on site to provide further information about the exhibition and our work with the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive. For more information, or to arrange a visit, please contact Karl Magee, our University Archivist, at karl.magee@stir.ac.uk

There will also be a number of events related to the exhibition during the week.

Tuesday 3 April, 11.00-12.00:

Tour and talk for members of the Australian Society of Archivists

The University of Stirling Archives invites members of the Australian Society of Archivists to a private view of the exhibition Aussie Hosts and Tartan Champions. This Australian-themed version of our touring Hosts and Champions exhibition was specially commissioned for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games for display at Scotland House, the headquarters for Team Scotland during the competition. Karl Magee, the University of Stirling Archivist, will provide a tour of the exhibits and a talk on the development of the touring exhibition and the challenges of bringing it to Gold Coast. For further information, or to book a place, please contact Denise Stephenson, Secretary, Queensland Branch, ASA, at Denise.Stephenson@calvarycc.qld.edu.au

Wednesday 4 April, 12.30-13.30:

Aussie Hosts and Tartan Champions: a look at Scotland’s proud Games history ‘Down Under’

With Gold Coast 2018 Australia’s fifth time hosting the Commonwealth Games, Jon Doig (CEO Commonwealth Games Scotland) will turn back the clock to Perth 1962, Brisbane 1982 and Melbourne 2006 with a panel of past athletes as they share their experiences and explore the similarities and differences of competing for Team Scotland over a 40 year span. Further information can be found on Team Scotland’s Scotland House page.

Wednesday 4 April, 18.30-: 

Live coverage of 2018 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony (with free Irn-Bru and Tunnocks tea cakes!)

Friday 6 April, 18.00-20.00:

Stirling University Alumni event

Join Karl Magee (University Archivist) and Prof Richard Haynes (Arts & Humanities) for a private view of Aussie Hosts and Tartan Champions and find out more about how the university is working with Commonwealth Games Scotland to protect and preserve its sporting heritage. If you would like to book a place at this event please email: Jennifer.Forman@stir.ac.uk

Our University Archivist Karl Magee & Prof Richard Haynes (Arts & Humanities) will be at Scotland House to provide tours of the exhibition.

Hosts & Champions: taking the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive on tour

The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games begin on 4 April with a spectacular opening ceremony at Carrara Stadium, the 5th time Australia has hosted the competition. To coincide with this fortnight of sporting competition our touring Hosts and Champions exhibition is going back on the road, celebrating the history of Scotland’s participation and achievement in the Commonwealth Games.

In a first for the University Archives we will be presenting two simultaneous versions of the exhibition 10,000 miles apart during the Games, visiting Hawick Museum in the Scottish Borders and Scotland House, the headquarters for Team Scotland, in the Gold Coast.

In April 2018 two versions of our Hosts & Champions exhibition will be on display in Hawick in the Scottish Borders and at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The exhibition at Hawick Museum opens on Thursday 29 March and will focus on the Games hosted by Scotland in Edinburgh in 1970 and 1986, and Glasgow in 2014. A new display entitled Aussie Hosts and Tartan Champions has been created for the Gold Coast Games which looks at Scotland’s previous visits to compete in Australia in Sydney in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982 and Melbourne in 2006. It will be on display at Scotland House (located in the Mantra On View Hotel, Surfers Paradise) from Monday 2 to Friday 6 April.

A range of tours, talks and events are being planned to coincide with the exhibitions with regular updates being posted on Twitter using #HostsandChampions.

2017: End-of-year review

As 2017 draws to a close its time to review our user statistics recording visits to our archives reading room and enquiries received about our collections. In the year that the University of Stirling celebrated its 50th anniversary its fitting that our own institutional records were our most popular, well-used collection. The University Archives was delighted to be able to support the fantastic range of events and exhibitions  which took place during the institution’s golden anniversary (including our Timeline exhibition and the Art Collection’s 1967 show). Throughout the year we celebrated the contribution our heritage collections have made to the academic and cultural life of the campus in our Realising the Vision blog. We also contributed to Fifty, a beautiful new publication produced by the university which tells the story of the university through 50 objects selected by staff, writers, poets, alumni and students.

Material featured in our Timeline exhibition, celebrating 50 years of the University of Stirling.

The NHS Forth Valley Archive continued to be a popular resource for family historians, academics and students, coming second in this year’s list. During the year the University Archives was designated the permanent place of deposit for the records of NHS Forth Valley selected for permanent preservation under the Public Records (Scotland) Act. We look forward to further expanding and developing our holdings relating to the medical history of the Forth Valley area under this new arrangement.

50th anniversary event in the archives reading room on the University of Stirling Open Day, Saturday 18 March 2017.

In January 2017 we completed a successful crowdfunding campaign to support the cataloguing and digitisation of the Peter Mackay Archive, a new collection relating to modern Southern African history. The interest generated in this collection kick-started by our fundraising campaign resulted in it taking third place in our annual list. In July we were delighted to receive recognition for this innovative project at the Herald Higher Education Awards where we were awarded a special commendation in the Campaign of the Year category.

Our Peter Mackay Archive crowdfunding project received a special commendation for Campaign of the Year at the Herald Higher Education Awards in July.

A fruitful year for the Peter Mackay Archive ended with a group of our History & Politics students creating a beautiful exhibition featuring material from the collection which is on display in the university library until April 2018.

Freedom Road, an exhibition of material from the Peter Mackay Archive created by History & Politics students. On display in the university library until 6 April 2018.

Reflecting on another busy year for Archives & Special Collections we recorded a continued year-on-year increase in the interest in, and use of, our collections. These statistics highlight the value of our collections for research, teaching and public engagement and we look forward to further developing our resources in 2018.

Those results in full:

2017:

  1. University of Stirling
  2. NHS Forth Valley
  3. Peter Mackay

Previous years:

2016:

  1. NHS Forth Valley
  2. University of Stirling
  3. Lindsay Anderson

2015:

  1. NHS Forth Valley
  2. Musicians’ Union
  3. University of Stirling

2014:

  1. Norman McLaren
  2. NHS Forth Valley
  3. Commonwealth Games Scotland

Find our more at: http://libguides.stir.ac.uk/archives

Follow us on Twitter: @unistirarchives

Musical roots: creating a guide to family history resources in the Musicians’ Union Archive

During the summer of 2017 Henry Carden, a postgraduate Communications, Media & Culture student, carried out a research placement in the University Archives funded by the Musicians’ Union. Here he writes about his work opening up the family history resources contained within the Musicians’ Union Archive.

Marbled edges of MU membership registers (Musicians’ Union Archive)

For the past 8 weeks, I’ve been hiding away in the Musicians’ Union archives putting together a guide to family history resources as part of a graduate trainee programme entitled ‘Musical Roots’. The guide aims to provide an overview of the resources available within the Musicians’ Union archive which may be of interest to people researching their musical ancestors.

As a young-at-heart mature student, I certainly had mixed emotions at discovering that I myself have been archived:

In spite of my ‘illustrious’ musical career, my details in an old branch membership guide were the only mention. So, if my great, great, great grandson is reading this, unfortunately you’ll have to look elsewhere to locate information about my short-lived mid-2000s indie-rock career

As part of the Musical Roots project, I created a database of over 500 obituaries spanning over a hundred years, from the early days of the Amalgamated Musicians’ Union right up to the relatively recent past. It’s worth noting that quite often, tributes and reports weren’t actually described as obituaries, but they featured the kind of information which you would expect to find in an obituary. It’s also worth mentioning that the inclusion of updates about members (both in life and death) was at the beck and call of Branch Secretaries as this article from The Musicians’ Journal demonstrates:

Furthermore, I also included some retirement tributes in the database as they presented a lot of similar information to obituaries. Unfortunately, not all deceased members of the Union received obituaries (understandable given the sheer volume of members) and more often than not, obituaries were reserved for “good union men” who had played active roles in the organisation – and also for more famous members such as John Lennon.

 In addition to the obituaries document, I also created databases of photographs and membership cards which are available to consult in the University Archives. The membership cards database doesn’t include the Edinburgh and Glasgow branches as they were too numerous to document, although highlights there included a few familiar names such as Shirley Manson, Gerry Rafferty and Edwyn Collins.

Glasgow Branch membership cards (Musicians’ Union Archive)

The Musicians’ Union Archive contains a huge amount of historical information on its members and this material is of great interest to people researching their family history.

Whilst some people might have a romantic notion of discovering personal information about one of their musical ancestors, it should be noted that a lot of the resources contained are predominantly administrative. That said, if your relative was an active member of the Union or held an official role, such as Branch Secretary or member of the Executive Committee, for example, then that increases the likelihood of finding more personal information.

Unfortunately, for most members, the only things you’re likely to discover are membership numbers, addresses, the instrument they played and in some cases, their reason for leaving the Union – most likely for falling into arrears with their subscriptions. But don’t let that put you off! You never know what you might discover.

A detailed guide to the family history resources contained in the Musicians’ Union Archive is available here.

 

Jim Alder: marathon runner, baton bearer

To celebrate the occasion of the first Stirling Marathon which takes place on Sunday 21st May our Exhibitions Assistant, Ian Mackintosh, writes about one of Scotland’s greatest marathon runner’s contribution to Commonwealth Games history.

Jim Alder is without doubt one of the greatest distance runners in the history of Scottish Athletics. Jim competed in the 1966 and 1970 Commonwealth Games and also represented Great Britain at the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games. Jim collected a complete set of medals at the Commonwealth Games winning gold in the marathon and bronze in the six mile race in Kingston in 1966, and silver in the marathon in Edinburgh in 1970. Another of Jim’s claims to fame is that he was involved in all three Queen’s Baton Relays when Scotland hosted the Games (in 1970, 1986 and 2014).

Jim Alder returns from Kingston, Jamaica, with his marathon gold and six-mile race bronze medals.

Edinburgh 1970

Jim’s first involvement with the Baton Relay came at the opening ceremony of the 1970 British Commonwealth Games where he had the honour of bringing the baton into Meadowbank Stadium and presenting it to Prince Philip. Jim recalled the day in a recent interview for the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive:

“I was captain of the Scottish Cross Country Team and a Gold Medallist for the Marathon at the last games. I got a letter from the Scottish Amateur Athletics Association asking me if I would be interested in taking part in the Baton Relay in Edinburgh. I replied that I was honoured to take part. They asked me to keep it secret and not to let my family know because I was to be the involved in the last leg of the relay in Edinburgh. I received a phone call a few days later during which they then told me that I would be carrying the baton into the stadium to hand it over to Prince Philip.

I was also given specific instructions as to what I was to wear. I was to wear my Scotland Vest a pair of white shorts and a pair of plain white canvas shoes. On no account was there to be any branding. At the time Adidas were my running shoe sponsors and they provided me with all of my gear. So I had to go out and buy a pair of shorts and shoes for which I was reimbursed. My wife and family were in the top stadium waiting on the teams coming in and when the Scotland team appeared I wasn’t in the team. She turned to her dad and our son and said yer dad is late again he’s missed the team. You see I had a reputation for being late. It was then that I made my entrance and it was flashed up on the scoreboard that the mystery Baton Relay runner was Jim Alder. It was great running round the track. The roar of the crowd was amazing. They were clapping and cheering and of course I knew most of the other British team’s athletes and they were cheering me on. It brought a lump to my throat and I was very emotional when I handed over the baton to Prince Philip. It was a fabulous occasion and when I handed the baton over to Prince Philip he asked if I had run all the way with the message.”

Jim Alder hands the Queens Baton to Prince Philip at Meadowbank Stadium, Edinburgh, 16 July 1970

Edinburgh 1986

In 1986 Jim was asked if he would like the honour of carrying the baton over the border into Scotland during the relay. Recalling the day Jim noted that:

“I was advised to be in Coldstream for midmorning and I was met by the committee. This was a very different occasion [from 1970] because my role was to carry the baton over the border and hand it over to someone at Coldstream. It was a less formal affair and I didn’t need to worry about what I wore. In fact I wasn’t even advised about what to wear so I decided I would wear my 1970 Scotland Uniform which still fitted me. I was still a serious runner back then and I maintained my weight well. I was still competing regularly in Cross Country, Road Races and Marathons. I was really happy to be involved in the baton relay once again and I never thought I would ever be involved in it again.”

Glasgow 2014

In 2014 Jim had the honour of being part of the final stages of the baton relay on the opening day of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. At an event in Scotland House (The Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow) he presented the baton to Prince Imran, Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation. For Jim “it was a great day, because it was an opportunity be in my hometown and the reception I received showed that people hadn’t forgotten what I had achieved nearly 40 years before.”

Our exhibition Hosts and Champions: Scotland in the Commonwealth Games was also officially opened that day and we were present to witness Jim’s contribution to the day’s events. After the ceremony was completed, we met Jim and chatted to him about his career. Jim was very interested in our exhibition and was delighted when he saw that we had featured him in the display. The exhibition included a photograph of Jim taken shortly after he had won his silver medal in the 1970 marathon. The photograph was titled “A helping hand”. Jim was delighted to see the picture and was more than happy to chat with us about the race. He spoke fondly of his great friend and rival Ron Hill and highlighted the fact that five of the fastest Marathon runners in the world were competing in the race. For Jim “it has been a great privilege to be asked to take part in all three Commonwealth Games Relays and the fact that I was involved in the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay completes a unique set for me.”

Jim Alder with his photograph from the 1970 Commonwealth Games which features in our Hosts and Champions exhibition.

 

‘A helping hand.’ Jim Alder crosses the line to win silver in the marathon at the 1970 Commonwealth Games.

Travelling the world from the library

Have you planned your next holiday? Do you enjoy poring over travel books, dreaming about exotic locations? If so, you might want to take a look at the display in the library stairwell.

The display of 19th century books on travel and exploration includes several beautiful books about India, Jamaica, Morocco and New Guinea. There is also a book about David Livingstone’s explorations in Africa.

The books are all from Innerpeffray Library in Perthshire ( http://www.innerpeffraylibrary.co.uk/).