Today Dr Bruce Peter has returned to the searchroom to look at the papers of Alexander Stephen & Sons (UGD4). Dr Peter is an academic at the Glasgow School of Art whose research covers architecture and design for transport, leisure and entertainment. His work on shipping takes a multidisciplinary approach and looks at the design and material culture of ships and shipping. Go to http://www.gsa.ac.uk/research/foci-profiles/p/peter-bruce/ to see some of his publications.
Previously Dr Peter has visited us to look at the William Denny collection, whom he describes as “pioneers in the application of steam turbine propulsion technology” in his recent book Japanese Ferries, which used material from the collection. William Denny & Brothers (UGD3) were a shipbuilding company based in Dumbarton during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and their records are held in Glasgow University Archive Services. Denny & Brothers encompassed shipbuilding as well as marine engineering and later on partners were even involved in the politics of the industry.
Dr Peter’s work with the William Denny collection highlights an interesting collaboration between Scottish and Japanese companies. In the early twentieth century the Japanese government sent some engineers to work with the company, demonstrating the international importance of Scottish ship building. Indeed, the Glasgow University International Story (http://www.internationalstory.gla.ac.uk/) also shows the strong link between Scotland and Japan, with Japanese students studying here from the nineteenth century.
By Kim Beasley
Categories: Archive Services (GUAS)