Among the collections held by the University of Dundee Archive Services are the manuscript records of the Brechin Diocese of The Episcopal Church of Scotland(BrMS), the records of the Glasite Church in the U.K. and North America (MS 9) and of the Methodist Churches in Arbroath and Montrose(MS 26). The Torrance Family Collection (MS 38) includes details of that family's work in the Presbyterian Scottish Mission Hospital in Tiberias. Dundee (see below) can be useful, containing information on local churches that includes, for instance, details of their clergymen.
The National Archives of Scotland (NAS) hold the main records of the Church of Scotland. The NAS also has important collections of documents relating to other Presbyterian churches including the Free Church of Scotland, the United Presbyterian Church and the United Free Church of Scotland. The National Library of Scotland (NLS) holds a variety of records relating to churches including the records of Scottish Foreign Missions. The Scottish Catholic Archives retains the records of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland. Dundee City Archive and Records Centre holds the records of the Dundee Presbytery of the Church of Scotland and of its churches.
There is no central repository for the records of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, but the NAS have a large collection of records which relate to the church, and other records can be found in various local authority and university archives.
Local Government RecordsUniversity of Dundee Archive Services holds copies of the printed minutes of various local government bodies, including those of Dundee Town Council (later Dundee Corporation) from 1880 and the printed minutes of Meetings of the Police Commissioners of Dundee 1881-1894 (MS 5). We also hold some copies of the printed minutes of Perth, Arbroath and Montrose Councils.
Local government records are a source of information on a wide range of subjects that includes education, the poor law, housing, town planning, transport, policing and many others. The majority of local authorities have archive centres where their committee minutes, papers and reports and maps, plans, valuation rolls and similar records can be accessed. A directory of local authority archives in Scotland can be found on the Scottish Archive Networks (SCAN) website.
Business RecordsUniversity of Dundee Archive Services holds the records of a large number of companies and businesses based in the Dundee area, including most of the major Dundee< textile works as well as a number of engineering concerns. They are particularly useful to researchers interested in economic history, social history and labour history. Our collections also contain material relating to the production and manufacture of jute in India and Bangladesh.We also hold many documents and plans relating to the early history of local railways, as well as some material relating to shipping in Dundee. Other collections we hold include material relating to local shops and the whaling industry. For a better idea of our holdings consult either the Collections pages of this website or our online catalogue, or contact us. Dundee City Archive and Records Centre also holds records relating to several important local businesses. Many business archives are deposited in the NAS. If looking for the records of a specific company it is worth consulting the catalogue section of the SCAN website, the website of the Business Archives Council of Scotland (BACS) and also The National Register of Archives (NRA) website.
Our collections include material relating to notable Dundee families, including local business magnates such as the Cox and Baxter families. We also have records pertaining to a number of important individuals who had a connection with the Tayside and North Fife area. These include James Thompson, Dr. William Maxwell Jamieson, Peter Carmichael, Joseph Johnston Lee, Dr John Berry and Dr Ruth Young. Again, if you are looking for records of a specific person the SCAN website is always a good first port of call. For papers held in private archives you should consult the National Register of Archives for Scotland (NRAS) and the NRA.
We hold the records of most of Tayside's major hospitals, including the Dundee Royal Infirmary, Royal Dundee Liff Hospital, Sunnyside Royal Hospital, Murray Royal Hospital and Perth Royal Infirmary within the Tayside Health Board Collection (THB). These include an extensive collection of patient records as well as material relating to the administration of these institutions. Researchers should note however that the clinical details of patients remain closed for 100 years. Our manuscript collections also include a number of medical-related collections including the Torrance Family Collection (MS 38) and The Forfarshire Medical Association (MS 64). The University records also have material on the teaching of medicine within the University and we also hold the records of the Dundee Dental Hospital. The catalogues of the medical collections held by the University of Dundee and a selection of images from these collections can be viewed at the Unlocking the Medicine Chest website.
The University of Dundee Archive Services holds the following two major photographic collections:
The Michael Peto Photographic Collection contains over 120,000, predominately black and white, images taken by the Hungarian photo-journalist Michael Peto (1908-1970). Major themes include pre and post-war Britain; the arts, especially the London ballet scene; Cambridge Prospect Theatre Productions, Eastern Europe, Israel and India. Peto also took a few interesting photographs of Dundee.
The Turner-McKinlay Photographic Collection comprises over 15,000 photographs/images from the University collections, including a number of images of Dundee, invaluable for local history, as well as photographs illustrating academic life from the nineteenth century to the present day.
Many of our other collections also include a number of photographs. Some highlights include:
- The Cox Family Collection (MS 6) which includes a number of photographs taken by family members on holidays across the world
- The Francis Frith Collection: Photographs of Highland Perthshire (MS 37)
- The Torrance Collection (MS 38) features a wide variety of photographs including many highlighting the activities of the family in the Israel/Palestine Region
- The Sidlaw Industries Collection (MS 66) includes a number of aerial photographs of Dundee taken in the 1920s
- The Peter Carmichael of Arthurstone Collection (MS 102) includes many photographs of old Dundee buildings which no longer exist.
Many of our photographs can be accessed in a digital format in our search room. Many can also be found on the internet by visiting the SCRAN website or our online catalogue.
The Dundee Central Library's Local Studies Centre at Dundee Central Library holds a very considerable collection of historic photographs of Dundee, a large number of these have been digitised and can be accessed through their Photopolis website. As mentioned above, another useful website is Visual Evidence: The Photographic presentation of Landscape and People. This contains approximately 100,000 images from the photographic collections of the Universities of St Andrews and Aberdeen.
The NLS has the largest collection of maps in Scotland. A number of historic maps can be accessed digitally via their website.
Many plans of Scottish buildings accessed in a digital format via the Drawn Evidence (currently unavailable) website. This website provides online access to a database of over 10,000 images from a variety of archives with accompanying descriptive captions.
The Kinnear Local Collection contains a substantial number of local books and newspapers including many rare items. This collection includes a number of volumes of the Dundee Directory a very useful source for providing particulars of where people lived, information about businesses and societies, details about educational and religious institutions and information on political bodies.
The Joan Auld Memorial Collection relates to British labour, social and shipping history. It was established in memory of the first university archivist.
The Rosalind Mitchison Scottish History Book Collection consists of the comprehensive collection of Scottish History books belonging to the late Rosalind Mitchison a prominent and well-respected Scottish historian.