Our visit concluded with an opportunity for us to individually explore the recently redeveloped Regimental Museum. Organised on three levels, it contains themed gallery spaces that focus on the social aspects of the regiment’s history, the overarching aim being to tell the ‘soldier’s story’ through the personal objects of individual members of the regiment. The Museum also highlights the regiment’s strong bonds with two of its Royal Colonels-in-Chief: Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, who became Colonel-in-Chief in 1872, and Queen Elizabeth II, who was appointed as Colonel-in-Chief on her 21st birthday in 1947 and maintained a close relationship with the regiment until her death in 2022. Personal memorabilia relating to both Princess Louise and Queen Elizabeth II is on display in the Museum galleries. For opening hours and for further information on the Museum, please see: https://argylls.co.uk/museum/.
Originally planned for summer 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic, the Association’s visit to the Edinburgh Academy Archive finally took place on 14 June 2022. Located on the Senior School Campus at 42 Henderson Row, the archive holds the Academy’s official administrative records as well as a rich variety of photographs, artefacts and personal memorabilia of former pupils and staff: https://www.edinburghacademy.org.uk/859/ea-archives
Fortunately for researchers who do not live locally, some of the documents in the archive are now digitised and available for consultation online, Andrew and his colleagues having established the Edinburgh Academy Digital Archive for this purpose in 2020: https://edinburghacademy.cook.websds.net. The Digital Archive currently contains scanned records relating to the school’s foundation, as well as a run of The Edinburgh Academy Chronicle from 1893 to 2010, The Edinburgh Academy Register 1824-1914, and The Edinburgh Academy War Service Record 1939-45. In the next phase of development, Andrew plans to scan and upload a selection of photographs from the collection.
During the lunch break, some of the group browsed the Castle’s latest exhibition, which celebrates the inspiring women of Glamis. Featuring many records and photographs from the Archives, this was much enjoyed by everyone lucky enough to see it. Details of the exhibition can be found on the Castle website: https://www.glamis-castle.co.uk/event/the-women-of-glamis-exhibition/.
Refreshments were taken in the Library, which, as Carol explained, was established in 1897 and comprises books relating to the crafts, plus books relating to Glasgow, to Scotland as a whole, and to Robert Burns. It also houses the Old Glasgow Club’s Library and the Colquhoun Library of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Library is open to the public by appointment and complete lists of the books and periodicals held, along with digitised/transcribed versions of some of the earliest records of the Trades House, are available on the Trades House Digital Library website: https://www.tradeshouselibrary.org/ . Carol displayed some highlights from the collection, including a bound volume of the Glasgow periodical, The Bailie, which is a rich source of information about prominent individuals in the city in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; a copy of The Modern Builders Guide by Alexander Hay, Architect (1841), which was dedicated to the Deacon Convener and Collector of the Trades House and consists of ‘a series of practical drawings with Letter press Descriptions’; and a copy of the New Testament for the Use of the Blind printed by the Glasgow Blind Asylum at the Institution Press in 1837. The volume’s type, (a precursor to Braille), known as Alston Type, was developed by the Glasgow muslin manufacturer John Alston (1778-1846), who had a close association with the Trades House and was Deacon of the Weavers (1810-11) and Deacon Convener (1829-30). The Library’s copy was dedicated to the Trades House by Alston ‘as a small mark of respect’.
Kay then gave a guided tour of the Archive’s environmentally-controlled stores, which consist of several different vaults. There is one vault for the quarantine of films affected by fungus; another vault for storing films affected by vinegar syndrome, and a further vault for the separate storage of ‘dirty film’ that is contaminated with dust and dirt. The Archive’s technical areas include in-house facilities for digitising film, with the exception of 35-millimetre film. Kay explained that she and her colleagues salvage old video equipment, including broadcast and domestic machines such as VHS and Betamax video recorders, to use for digitisation. They are always pleased to hear from anyone who is willing to donate such equipment: email@example.com.
More than 2,000 clips and full-length films are available to view remotely via the Moving Image Archive online catalogue https://www.nls.uk/collections/moving-image-archive, and it is also possible to hire or buy DVD copies of footage from the Archive. Anyone wishing to conduct specialist research or to consult the written material in the collection is welcome to do so by appointment. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The group then travelled the short distance to the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre (www.sjac.org.uk) in Garnethill Synagogue. Their visit began with a guided tour of the synagogue, which opened in 1879 and is the oldest in Scotland, before taking in the archive stores. Members and their guests received an illustrated talk about the archive collections, and spent time exploring the fascinating displays of photographs, artefacts and other personal records relating to Jewish families in Scotland. They also learned of the SJAC's plans to create a new Scottish Holocaust Era Study Centre.