Small photographic collections of St Andrews University Library.

Scope and Content

The small photographic collections include:

  • Peter G Adamson (5 boxes):Peter G Adamson (5 boxes):In addition to his role as the University of St Andrews photographer, Peter Adamson has also supplied the photography, both his own images and others of a historical nature, for a number of pictorial books, working with authors Raymond Lamont-Brown, Lorn Macintyre and James K. Robertson. The collection contains negatives and photographs relating to these publications and includes images of St Andrews, Dundee, Fife, Angus, Perthshire and the Borders. Subjects covered are topographical views, portraiture, groups, events and transport.
  • Edward J Balfour slides (1 box) and negatives (1 box), 1900s-1920s:Edward J Balfour slides (1 box) and negatives (1 box), 1900s-1920s:Former student at the University of St Andrews. 147 lantern slides with list by Balfour covering the following categories: St Andrews; Child Studies; Nature Pictures; Aviation Slides. 124 quarter plate negatives in categories which include: St Andrews; Nature; Figures; Child Studies; Cinderella; Sail from Leith to Aberdeen; Scouts; Biology; Miscellaneous. Some negatives cross-referenced to lantern slides.
  • John Collier collection of glass negatives, ca. 1910:John Collier collection of glass negatives, ca. 1910:ca. 300 negatives in 17 boxes. The collection appears to be the fruits of a brief enthusiasm, with a large number of shots of members of the family and one or two holidays, and of coronation celebrations in Cupar. Most are of family and friends and of sporting groups, amateur theatricals, fancy-dress and outdoor activities. There are some landscape views but very few buildings except a few decorated for the coronation. The exceptions include a crowd scene around the bandstand in St Andrews and several views from the Scott Monument, Princes Street, Edinburgh.
  • Charles Dunbar slides: 9 slide boxes (not all full) containing 35mm colour slides, 1960s - 1970s:Charles Dunbar slides: 9 slide boxes (not all full) containing 35mm colour slides, 1960s - 1970s:Slide boxes are labelled Angus and Central Highlands; Dundee; London; Ely / Yorkshire / Skye; Fife and Deeside; North and North East [Scotland]; Spey Valley; Tay and Speyside; Western Isles, Mallaig etc.
  • James Clark Gilchrist collection, 3 shelves, 1930s-1940s:James Clark Gilchrist collection, 3 shelves, 1930s-1940s:Gilchrist (Pitlochry, Perthshire) was quite a well known amateur photographer with regular publications in magazines such as the Amateur Photographer, Picture Post and The Camera (no connection with present Camera magazine). The depositors of the collection, Aase and Peter Goldsmith, curated a retrospective of his work at the Corridor Gallery, Glenrothes, from prints found in Gilchrist's attic darkroom in Pitlochry by the new owner of Gilchrist's house, Mrs Ogg. Surviving are publications and magazines, a small amount of correspondence, 11 lantern slides, some negatives (1/2 plate glass and 120mm film), degraded contact prints from 120mm negatives and a collection of photographic prints from which the Corridor Gallery exhibition was selected. Subjects include artistic portraits, plants and still life.
  • Ian Joy: 4 small boxes (mainly 5x4 glass negatives with a few 35mm and 120mm film negatives), ca 1950s and 1960s:Ian Joy: 4 small boxes (mainly 5x4 glass negatives with a few 35mm and 120mm film negatives), ca 1950s and 1960s:Ian Joy Photographic of St Andrews was established by Ian Joy in 1945. Ian Joy Photographic is now run by Ian's son, Michael, who joined the business in 1966. In addition to selling and buying equipment, the shop also specialises in wedding and golf photography. This small collection of negatives was rescued from disposal with Ian Joy's permission in the early 1980s. Subjects include St Andrews views including shop fronts, groups, fashion shows, houses (interiors and exteriors); work on golf course; beach huts and donkeys, Kate Kennedy procession and student charities.
  • JY Macdonald photographic collection, 1 small box of prints:JY Macdonald photographic collection, 1 small box of prints:He was a lecturer in chemistry at the University of St Andrews, 1927-1960, senior lecturer from 1952, son of Sir George MacDonald who was a civil servant in Edinburgh and a great authority on Roman Scotland. His daughter was principal teacher of history at St Leonard's School, St Andrews. He worked with David Jack. They supposedly did a survey of old St Andrew for the St Andrews Preservation Trust. Copy negatives are held, it being unclear whether the originals survive. Includes the burning of Thom's Yard, St Andrews.
  • Pearce Collection - Oxfordshire townscapes, mostly Thame, and Pearce family photographs (early 20th century).
  • Sir Robert Rollo - St Andrews and Scotland, late 1850s-1890s:Sir Robert Rollo - St Andrews and Scotland, late 1850s-1890s:including Raith House, Bridge of Earn, St Andrews Bruce Embankment under construction, St Andrews street surfaces; poor quality, some printed, difficulty in dating the images. Aide de camp to Governor General of Canada.
  • T. Landale Rollo glass negatives, mostly half plate, some quarter plate - 2 boxes, late 19th, early 20th century:T. Landale Rollo glass negatives, mostly half plate, some quarter plate - 2 boxes, late 19th, early 20th century:The collection contains images of Fife rural and agricultural, mainly around Cupar, including the following farms: Balmullo, Bankhead, Brackmont, Craighall, Dairsie, Easter Forret, Kilmaron, Luthrie, Over Kellie, Prestonhall, Rathillet; houses in Cupar: Brackland, Bank Street and Haymount; Shore at St Andrews; and holidays. Rollo was a lawyer in Cupar, from a prominent North Fife farming family, a rugby international and colonel in the army during the war. He may not have been the photographer but the collection came from him. Hand list available.
  • Scottish History Department photographic collection, 1 box of 4x4 slides of Scottish castles, some possibly bought from RM Adam, with maps drawn by Ronald G Cant.
  • Peter Willis, architecture, Britain and Europe, 1980s-1990s, gifted 437 slides to the University in 1999, mainly of buildings by notable architects (named) in Scotland, Finland, France, Prague, Tivoli, Frascati, Venice, Berlin, Canada in 1994, Denmark, the Netherlands, Vicenza, Ypres Belgium, Wales, Switzerland, Poissy, Brussels, Vienna, Barcelona, Milton Keynes, USA, Paris, Quarr Abbey Isle of Wight etc.Willis is an architect and architectural historian. He was educated at Durham and Edinburgh Universities and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he did research under Sir Nikolaus Pevsner and took his Ph.D in 1962. From 1961-64 he worked in the Edinburgh office of Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall and Partners. He has held various academic posts in Britain and the United States and taught at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne until his retirement. He is the books on landscape history including: Furor Hortensis (1974), The Genius of the Place (1975) with John Dixon Hunt, and Charles Bridgeman and The English Landscape Garden (1977) as well as New Architecture in Scotland (London, 1977).
  • Photographically illustrated printed books. Real photographs pasted in to illustrate 19th and early 20th century texts. Subjects include portraits, travel and anthropology.

Administrative / Biographical History

The University's photographic collections are constantly growing. The 'other collections', contain a wealth of material relating to Scotland, the UK and indeed the world. Some are the work of lesser-known photographers, others numerically smaller than those collections individually described. They cover a huge variety of subjects of local, national and international interest; landscape, townscape, industrial, architectural, archaeological, social and scientific, and date from the later nineteenth century almost to the present day.

Access Information

The photographic collections are currently the subject of a major digitisation project. It is the intention to have the entire archive captured in electronic form, and available (with sophisticated searching facilities) on line via the web. A full version of the software can be accessed in the Library and researchers are welcome to visit the library to use it but it is important that appointments are made in advance. Access to original photographic material may be restricted.

Acquisition Information



Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Brief handlists are available for a small number of these collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies of images held in the photographic collection (with the exception of any photographs which are held either without copyright or under other restrictions imposed by the donor or photographer) can be ordered. Photographs thus provided for purely personal or research purposes are not subject to any fee beyond the photographic costs (for which a scale of charges is available). Prior written permission must be obtained before any further reproduction is undertaken of images supplied, for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Reproduction fees may be charged.

True photographic reprints of most images can be provided, or computer-generated prints of an increasing proportion of the collection at low, medium or high resolution. Given the fragility of the original material our preference is to provide computer prints where possible. We can also provide transparencies and a range of electronic formats.


The collection is accruing by gift and purchase.

Additional Information

This material is original.