Over the past month we have been out and about on campus at a number of events, show-casing the University’s heritage through its library collections!
On 12th November we helped launch the 1451 Society: a group established to recognise the special commitment of alumni and friends who have chosen to support the University through a planned gift in their will. The event was held in the Senate Room and the theme was the important bequests and gifts that have been made to the University throughout its history. As a special display, we took along the Inventory of voluntary contributions to building and furnishing of a Library preserved in the University’s Archives. The first signature in this volume is that of Charles I who promised £200 sterling for the “advancement of the librarie and fabrick of the Colledge of Glasgow”. You can find out more about this gift here.
On the evening of 17th November in the Wolfson Medican school, Professor Simon Newman delivered the first James McCune Smith Memorial Lecture. The 17th November 2015 marked the 150th anniversary of the death of James McCune Smith: the first African-American to receive a University medical degree. Simon’s lecture was titled: ‘Run away from his Master’: freedom-seeking slaves in eighteenth-century Britain and we provided a virtual exhibition of the records realting to James McCune Smith, as well as a post-card to mark the occasion.
On the 24th November, First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, delivered the Third Annual Jimmy Reid Memorial lecture in the Bute Hall. The title of her talk was “WORKERS’ RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS” while the evening payed tribute to Jimmy Reid: Rector of the University 1972-1974 and hero of the Upper Clyde Ship Builders’ ‘work-in’ protest. There was a screening of a section of Jimmy Reid’s installation speech and we show-cased the papers of Jimmy Reid on a virtual exhibition that ran on the screen and a display of original materials for attendees to view. You can view a selection of these records, donated to the University by the family, on our Jimmy Reid Flickr Set.
The 27th November saw the second Night at the Museum at the Hunterian Museum. The theme was ‘Exploration’ and ‘Inspiring Scots’ connected to The Hunterian and the University of Glasgow. Visitors could see The Hunterian’s world class displays at night, as well as displays of archival material representing inspirational alumni and global-reaching Scottish businesses. All this was set against a backdrop of film and image projections and live Scottish music performances, including a re-enactment of a famous photograph from the William Speirs Bruce Antarctic expedition collection in Special Collections, of a piper next to a penguin! The night was greatly enjoyed by all with over 500 visitors attending!
On the 30th November the University’s School of Humanities in the College of Arts welcomed Prof. Trevor Burnard, head of the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, to Glasgow and launched a new research partnership between the School of Humanities, Glasgow and the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, Melbourne. We provided a pop-up heritage display of some of our historical University of Melbourne connections: for example geologist and explorer, John Walter Gregory, Professor of Geology and Minerology at the University of Melbourne in 1899 and appointed, in 1904, to the newly-established Chair of Geology at the University of Glasgow. Another inspirational person linking both of our Universities is Isabella Henrietta Younger who began her medical degree at the University of Melbourne but finished it here at Glasgow. After she graduated MBChB in 1914, she returned to Australia where she became a prominent figure in Victoria’s medical care system.
So we have had great fun this November sharing the heritage stories of the University through its fascinating library collections at events around campus. You can find out more about our collections on our websites:
Archive Services: http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/archives/
Special Collections: http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/specialcollections/