The Anchor Line Ltd

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 boards, brochures and leaflets and company photographs that would help Di Maggio’s tell the history of the Anchor Building and the company itself including the strong links between Scotland and America.  You can see examples in this flickr set which we had previously createdto showcase some of the posters in the collection.

Brochure for sailings to New York on board the California  and Cameronia

Brochure for sailings to New York on board the California and Cameronia (Ref: UGD255/1/23/81)

Over 200 items were selected and then digitised by our Photographic Unit and can now be seen on the walls of the restaurant which opened today.

Framed images from the archive collection of Anchor Line Ltd now on display in The Anchor Line Restaurant.

This has been an interesting project for us at Archive Service to see how the heritage of a 20th century business from our Scottish Business Archive collection can be of value today for a different company. It has been rewarding that the heritage of the Anchor Building has been retold using authentic sources from our collection.

Image of the Anchor Building c.1920s (Ref: UGD255/1/38/1/1)

Image of the Anchor Building c.1920s (Ref: UGD255/1/38/1/1)

Categories: Archive Services

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2 replies

  1. It is excellent to see all the archival materials displayed in the Anchor Building itself. The restaurant attracts many visits from the relatives of former Anchor Line staff: last time I was there, I talked to the two sons of a former ship’s captain, who had brought a folder of photos and memorabilia. The restaurant is also collecting stories, via its website, from people who remember the company or have explored its history. The flickr set of Anchor Line posters from University of Glasgow is very valuable: I’m adding a link to this from my project page for ‘Magazines, Travel & Middlebrow Culture in Canada’ (we also have advert galleries for Canadian Pacific, Canada Steamship Co. and Canadian National).

  2. Reblogged this on GSA Archives and Collections and commented:
    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.

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