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50th anniversary
  • Celebrations begin to commemorate 50 years of the University of Dundee

    2017
  • The University of Dundee becomes a fully independent institution under the terms of the Royal Charter.

    1967
  • Ordinances issued in 1897 made University College form part of St Andrews. and establish a Faculty of Medicine.

    1897
  • The Deed formally creating University College Dundee was signed by founders Miss Mary Ann Baxter and her cousin Dr John Boyd Baxter.

    1881

Journalism

  • date

    Fri, 28 Apr 2017

  • Running Time

    00:04:39

DC Thomson is a hugely important part of the cultural landscape of Dundee and is known internationally for many of its publications.

Episode Transcript

DC Thomson is a hugely important part of the cultural landscape of Dundee and is known internationally for many of its publications. The firm was initially part of the Thomson family business when William Thomson bought the company who published the Dundee Courier and Daily Argus in the late nineteenth century. David Coupar Thomson took over the reins of the publishing business in 1884 and it was in 1905 that the now famous D.C. Thomson was established, when it merged with the other local publishing company which was run by John Leng. The firm became incredibly successful, and is fondly known as the third J in Dundee’s “Three Js” – the other two of course being Jute and Jam.

As well as publishing Dundee’s local daily newspapers, The Courier and The Evening Telegraph (which is known locally as “The Tele”), D.C. Thomson also publish Aberdeen papers - The Press and Journal, Evening Express and the Aberdeen Journal. In a time of grave difficulties facing the newspaper industry nationwide, The Courier and The Press and Journal perform consistently well. The weekly newspaper, The Sunday Post was founded in 1914 and is sold across the UK. At one point, sales of The Sunday Post were so high that it appeared in the Guinness Book of records!

Another long-established and widely-read publication from DC Thomson is the “story magazine” The People’s Friend, which was founded in 1869 and has long maintained its much loved, traditionalist outlook and sells all over the world.

Of course, as well as all its newspapers and magazines, D.C. Thomson is famous for its various comics including The Beano. Over its history, the company published numerous iconic titles for children and young people such as The Dandy, The Beezer, Shout, Blue Jeans and Jackie.

The company has offices in Dundee, Glasgow, Manchester and London and publishes over 200 million newspapers, magazines and comics and employs around 2000 people.

Aside from the publishing arm of the business, D.C. Thomson also owns Brightsolid which is a data centre and cloud-based hosting company and the Findmypast group which owns a range of genealogy websites including Genes Reunited. D.C. Thomson are also in the process of digitizing archives for the Imperial War Museum and making the British Newspaper Archive searchable for the British Library

DC Thomson is also known for its involvement with various charities. The most recent of these endeavours was their partnership with the ARCHIE Foundation to create the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail which used sculptures of the iconic comic character customized by lots of different artists as a cultural trail around the city over the summer. The initiative was hugely successful and raised a staggering £883,000 pounds to go towards the transformation of Tayside Children’s Hospital at Ninewells.

Michael Marra

Michael Marra is Research Strategist at the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, University of Dundee. Michael joined LRCFS after four years as Deputy Director of Design in Action – one of the AHRC’s flagship Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy. He specialises in industrial engagement in research and development and has published on industrial policy and the innovative mobilisation of intellectual property. Michael’s  background in public policy and political affairs has included posts in the Scottish and UK Parliaments as a senior political adviser and as Head of Policy and Public Affairs for Oxfam. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science and previously from the University of Glasgow where he has taught international comparative politics.

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  • Celebrations begin to commemorate 50 years of the University of Dundee

    2017
  • The University of Dundee becomes a fully independent institution under the terms of the Royal Charter.

    1967
  • Ordinances issued in 1897 made University College form part of St Andrews. and establish a Faculty of Medicine.

    1897
  • The Deed formally creating University College Dundee was signed by founders Miss Mary Ann Baxter and her cousin Dr John Boyd Baxter.

    1881
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