Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Dundee College of Education

The papers of the Dundee College of Education have recently been fully catalogued and are now available for use. The collection comprises over 9 linear metres of records and includes a plethora of materials ranging from minute books, prospectuses, reports and plans to student records, graduation materials and a considerable number of photographs.

The College was established in 1906 after the St Andrews Provincial Committee, one of four Committees within Scotland charged with the responsibility for teacher training, decided Dundee was a suitable site for a new teacher training facility. The picture below shows a drama class from the early 20th century.

The newly established College originally shared facilities with Dundee’s Technical Institute which had premises on Small’s Wynd. Accommodation for the opening roll of 136 students was arranged thanks to support from local Churches. Six years later the College acquired Mayfield House to provide accommodation for its female students although this was subsequently extended to provide accommodation for both sexes. Such were the College’s successes and such was the demand for College places that larger and more purpose built premises were urgently needed. After considering locations at Belmont, Small’s Lane and Friarbank, a site at Park Place was identified for expansion. Although the foundation stone for this new site was laid in 1912, it was not until October 1920 that the premises was finally occupied, the formal opening being performed in 1921 by Her Grace, the Duchess of Atholl.

The College celebrated its Jubilee in 1956 and in 1975 moved to new premises in Gardyne Road, West Ferry, with the buildings at Park Place being taken over by Dundee University. The Scrymgeour Building (pictured), the traditional premises of the College in Park Place, was subsequently occupied by the Faculty of Law in 1978, which continues to occupy the site today. In 1987 the College merged with Aberdeen College of Education to form the Northern College of Education, but in 2001 the two colleges again split and each became part of its neighbouring University.

In 2007, 101 years after it was first founded, the Dundee College of Education relocated to a new home on the main campus to form part of the University's School of Education, Social Work & Community Education.

The Dundee College of Education catalogue can be accessed online here and the collection can be consulted in the search room.
For more information, please contact

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Dr Craig Gauld

Anyone who has been in contact with CAIS this year will more than likely have spoken or corresponded with the CAIS Administrator, Craig Gauld. As well as being a key member of the CAIS team helping to ensure the best possible experience for our distance learning students, Craig is a qualified Archivist and worked for the University of Strathclyde and Shetland Archives prior to moving to Dundee. Craig also completed a PhD in 2009 entitled 'The Fantasy of the Transformative and Corroborative Archive: The Authority of Archival Beginnings' and attended his graduation ceremony at the University of Glasgow at the end of last month. We're all pleased to congratulate him on this fantastic achievement.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Archive Services secure return of important documents to Dundee

While the vast majority our collections have been gifted to us, on occasion we have purchased important items relating to the history of Dundee and the Tayside area. The rise of the internet has seen some important documents, which were thought lost or whose whereabouts were unknown, appear advertised for sale on line. One such example, the Dundee Power Loom Tenters Society Minute Book (MS 65), was mentioned in a blog post last year.

More recently, Archive Services managed to acquire a series of documents relating to George Murdoch, a prominent Dundonian of the early nineteenth century who held the office of Kirk Treasurer. The items include a burgess ticket awarded to Murdoch in 1822 and a seating plan for a church service for the burgh's trades dating from 1840. This is particularly significant as the plan gives us a good idea of the layout of the interior of a ‘lost’ church. The church in this plan (probably the East Kirk or the Middle Kirk) was one of the victims of a great fire which led to the destruction of most of the mediaeval complex of town churches in 1841.

In early February 2009, archive staff became aware that these documents were individually listed as being for sale on an internet auction site, and promptly contacted the seller who kindly agreed to sell the entire collection to Archive Services. This has ensured that this collection has now returned to its home city and that Dundonians are able to consult this interesting piece of their history.

The George Murdoch and Family Papers (reference MS 277) are open for consultation.

Dr Kenneth Baxter