Exploring the University’s Historical International Connections by Susan Yule

Congratulatory Address from the University of Tokyo, 1901 (DC 184/70)

Congratulatory Address from the University of Tokyo, 1901 (DC 184/70)

My name is Susan Yule and I have just completed a work experience placement with the University of Glasgow Archive Services, through the University’s Club 21 internship scheme. I have also just finished studying the MSc Information Management and Preservation course, and I’m eager to pursue a career in archives so this placement provided valuable experience at the end of the course.

Congratulatory Address from McGill University, 1901 (DC 184/123)

Congratulatory Address from McGill University, 1901 (DC 184/123)

I’ve been working with two collections of Congratulatory Addresses (DC184 and DC185) which commemorate the University of Glasgow’s Ninth Jubilee in 1901 and Fifth Centenary in 1951. The addresses were presented by various universities, colleges, learned societies and other institutions around the world to mark these anniversary occasions. The majority of addresses are written in Latin and English, but there are also a variety of other languages such as French, German, Welsh, Sanskrit and Japanese. The addresses are visually and artistically interesting as many of them are lithographed and illuminated, and some include the seals of the originating institution. I had the privilege of looking at some of the original addresses and it was really interesting to see their artistry and penmanship in person.

My placement task was to create an album of Congratulatory Address images on the photo-sharing website Flickr, in order to increase awareness of, and access to, these important collections. I worked with digital images of some addresses taken by the University’s Photographic Unit, as well as other images I had scanned, to create a Flickr album. I really enjoyed working with the digital images and researching contextual information for each item description.

Fifth Centenary Celebrations, display of addresses, 1951 (UP 9/63/7)

Fifth Centenary Celebrations, display of addresses, 1951 (UP 9/63/7)

It was also fascinating to learn about the week of formal celebrations that accompanied both the Ninth Jubilee and the Fifth Centenary. These celebrations included ceremonies for the presentation of congratulatory addresses, honorary degrees and commemoration speeches. There were also torchlight processions, music recitals and banquets. The Ninth Jubilee celebrations also included a garden party and a cruise on the River Clyde. These commemorative events were brought to life through an album of ephemera (tickets, programmes, etc) that the University had kept from the Ninth Jubilee, as well as black and white photographs of the Fifth Centenary. It was really interesting to see these items and to include a selection of them in the Flickr album in order to provide an insight into the spirit of the anniversary celebrations.

This placement has been a really valuable and enjoyable experience and it will help me in my pursuit of a career in archives. It has been fascinating to work with the collections of Congratulatory Addresses, which commemorate the University of Glasgow’s history, tradition, and links with many other educational institutions worldwide.

Visit the Flickr album of Congratulatory Addresses here.

Ninth Jubilee Celebrations, Programme of Proceedings, 1901 (GUA 31327, p21)

Ninth Jubilee Celebrations, Programme of Proceedings, 1901 (GUA 31327, p21)

Please contact the Duty Archivist if you have any enquiries about the collections of Congratulatory Addresses at enquiries@archives.gla.ac.uk



Categories: Archive Services

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