Thursday 28 April 2011

Our exhibition spaces - No. 2, The Tayside Medical History Museum

The main exhibition space for the Tayside Medical History Museum is in the foyer of the Medical School at Ninewells Hospital. Here we have both permanent displays and various exhibitions. The space is open daily 9am-5pm and by appointment at other times.

We also have a temporary display case in the main concourse of Ninewells and two permanent displays; the Dundee Royal Infirmary Memorial Wall which is in the concourse and a display of early X-ray equipment in the Radiology department.

Various works of art also decorate the Medical School foyer area and lecture theatres.

Friday 22 April 2011

Dundee to Damascus - An Exhibition by Museum Services

The latest exhibition in the University's Tower Foyer Gallery features stunning black and white photographs of the cities of Dundee and Damascus, taking the viewer on a journey from one great city to the other.

The pictures are the work of local photographer Mandy MacFarlane. Striking views of the Tay Bridge, the McManus and other local landmarks are accompanied by images of the Great Umayyad Mosque and scenes of people going about their day-to-day business at the Souk Al-Hamadiye and in other parts of the ancient city of Damascus.

Mandy MacFarlane is a self-taught photographer who has worked at the University as a tutor for the Academic Achievement Unit. She uses an SLR camera with 35mm black and white film and hand-prints her own photographs.

The exhibition runs until 18 June in the Tower Building. Admission is free.

Thursday 21 April 2011

What's in a name?

It was one year ago today that we bought the domain name for our blog; In that year we've had 6,719 visitors (with 10,791 overall since we launched the blog in August 2009). All those visits add up to a remarkable 11,061 page views (or 18,424 since August 2009). We wanted to take this chance to say thanks to everyone who visits our blog. We hope that you continue to enjoy our posts.

Screenshot and statistics from Google's Analytics service.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Our exhibition spaces - No. 1, The Lamb Gallery

The Lamb Gallery, University of Dundee

The Lamb Gallery is our largest exhibition space and can be found on the first floor of the University's Tower Building. It has traditional wood panelling and an impressive view down to the Tower Foyer.

The gallery is named after James Charles Lamb (1894-1962), a former student of University College Dundee and also a member of the University College Council from 1947 to 1951. His bequest in 1960 founded the University's Fine Art Fund. When he died shortly after the Tower Building opened, it was decided to name the exhibition gallery that had been created on the first floor mezzanine in his honour.

Friday 15 April 2011

Treasures of Glamis Castle

The staff of Archive, Records Management and Museum Services visited Glamis Castle on Thursday and were given a rare opportunity to visit the Castle’s Archives. The tour was organised by the Glamis Castle Archivist and former ARMMS colleague, Ingrid Thomson. After a tour of the Castle we climbed the 91 steps of the spiral staircase in the clock tower to reach the Archives. Ingrid had selected various items for us to see that revealed the historical wealth of the Castle’s collection. These included a Papal Bull from 1575, a menu book from 1666, items relating to the wedding of Prince Albert and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (now topical because of The King’s Speech), hunts books and the memoirs of Mary Eleanor Bowes. A visitor book contained the young princesses signatures ‘Lilibet’ and ‘Margaret Rose’.

Mary Eleanor Bowes, the ancestor of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, left a journal detailing her eventful life. As a young heiress with a considerable fortune she set her sights on John Lyon, the 9th Earl of Strathmore, marrying him on her eighteenth birthday in 1767. The marriage, although fruitful in terms of children, was ultimately an unhappy one for Mary Eleanor and she found comfort in a series of extra-marital relationships. When he died she was pregnant at the time by a lover, George Gray.

The following year she had the misfortune to encounter the Anglo-Irish adventurer Andrew Robinson Stoney. He fought a duel with the editor of the Morning Post newspaper to defend her honour for publishing defamatory articles about her private life. Apparently suffering a mortal wound, he persuaded the Countess to grant him a last dying wish and marry him; he was even stretchered to the altar. Stoney did not die however and had in fact staged the duel with the cooperation of the editor in order to marry Mary Eleanor and gain access to her wealth. She suffered eight years of mental and physical abuse for the Countess that culminated in a brutal abduction after she began to file for divorce. Eventually she gained her freedom and Stoney was imprisoned for the kidnapping.

ARMMS has a strong connection with the Glamis Castle Archives. Researchers wishing to consult the Glamis material do so in the University of Dundee Archive Services search room. In addition the Glamis Cataloguing Project – a cooperative venture with the University Archives - has developed a database of item level descriptions of the Castle’s archive material. The database was named the Mary Young Glamis Castle Databse, in memory of our colleague who passed away last year and is still greatly missed by all.

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Religious collections at the University of Dundee

Palm Sunday Processions
Last week we held a departmental training session on the subject of religious enquiries. The session gave us the opportunity to explore the types of past enquiries we have received, consider which areas of research had proved to be of greatest interest and ascertain which of the archive’s holdings can be used when researching religion. Within our collections we hold a range of useful resources including church plans, congregational and committee minutes and registers of births, marriages and burials. The session also gave us the opportunity to look at some published sources such as Hew Scott’s Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae: The Succession of Ministers in the Parish Churches of Scotland from the Reformation, A.D to the Present Time, Vol. III, Part II: Synods of Aberdeen, and Angus and Mearns  (KLoc F 285.241 F 251) and David Bertie’s Scottish Episcopal Clergy (GH 438) as well as the archived volumes of statistical accounts compiled by Parish Ministers (see KLoc 914.131 D 914 and KLoc 914.1 T 445), useful sources of 18th and 19thcentury church history. 

Membership list, Glasite Church
In addition, we examined various external resources that are available for genealogists and/or those exploring church history or Scotland’s past in general. Identified as being of particular interest were two online resources, MUNDUS, a web based gateway to the records of more than 400 collections of overseas missionary materials held across the UK, and the Scottish Archive’s Network’s (SCAN) website, which provides a single electronic point of access to catalogue holdings of more than 50 Scottish Archives. 
The session ended with a series of questions designed to test our knowledge and understanding of the materials in our care and further hone our investigative skills. All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative training session and one that will inform future practice when handling requests of a religious nature. 

For more information about our religious holdings please see our subject source list,, search our online catalogue, or email us at

Friday 1 April 2011

New ways to view our blog

Google's Blogger service (the platform we use for this blog) has just launched some new ways to view blogs such as this one. If you use a modern browser (IE 8, Chrome, Safari, Firefox 4 etc) and add /view to the end of the URL of the blog you're looking at you'll see five new ways to browse through posts. We've configured this blog so that the new views work with our content. If you're interested you might want to take a look at:
You can also see each new view in turn by clicking on the following links:
The new 'Mosaic' view