Records of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art

Scope and Content

Official records of the College, including minutes and agenda from meetings of the Board of Governors and the Academic Council and Principal's, Secretary's and Dean's office files; prospectuses; College publications; promotional videos; and ephemera, 1975-1994.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1972 a Committee of Enquiry was convened, chaired by Sir Charles Wilson, principal of Glasgow University, to consider whether the Dundee Institute of Art and Technology should continue with its existing structure or if the two disciplines might be better served by the establishment of two independent colleges. The Committee decided on the two-college approach and, following approval by the Scottish Secretary of State, the Dundee Institute of Art and Technology was dissolved in August 1975 to create Dundee College of Technology and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.

The Art College remained independent under its own Board of Governors until 1 August 1994 when it became a full faculty of the University of Dundee. Since the period of its independence, the Art College has fully occupied the purpose built complex on the Perth Road into which it had begun to move in the 1950s.Under its new arrangement, a number of diploma courses offered by the College received validation as Ordinary and Honours degree courses by the Council for National Academic Awards. Included in these were Design (1976) and Fine Art (1980). In 1974 the University of Dundee had created a Faculty of Environmental Studies which validated the degrees of the Schools of Architecture and Town & Regional Planning from the inception of the College. The University and College had a close working relationship, no doubt partly due to the geographical proximity of the two campuses, and by 1988 the University of Dundee validated all degree courses at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.

Prior to its merger with the University, the College had grown to be the largest college of art and design in Scotland. It offered a range of courses in architecture, town & regional planning, environmental management, painting, sculpture, illustration & printmaking, printed textiles, constructed textiles, interior & environmental design, graphic design, ceramics, jewellery & metalwork, food and welfare studies, hotel and catering management and hospitality. Additional postgraduate areas of study available within the College were computer-aided architectural design, electronic imaging, film & television production and European urban conservation.

Chessor L Matthew Dip Arch, FRIBA, AMPTI, ASIA (Ed) was the first principal of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art by virtue of continuing in his post as principal of the Art College section of the preceding institution. He had taken up the post in 1964 and continued into the Art College's independent period, remaining in office until the end of session 1977/78, when he was succeeded by Myer Lacome FRSA, MSAID, MSTD, Minst Pkg. Lacome was succeeded by Robert Miller-Smith FCSD, FDIA, FSTD, FRSA, who was in turn succeeded by Christopher Carter BA(Hons), PhD, MRTPI, FBIM, FRSA, the last principal of the Art College, holding the office for the final session.

The name of the College comes from James Duncan of Jordanstone and Drumfork, who in 1909 bequeathed part of the residue of his estate, worth around 60,000 at the time, in order to found a school of industrial art in Dundee. Part of his purpose was to include a women's institute, which is how the Art College came to teach hospitality industry related courses. The bequest was used by the Dundee Technical Institute and School of Art but Duncan's dream of a separate art school was not fulfilled until 1975.


The material is awaiting arrangement.

Access Information

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information

Unknown. The records were deposited at various times.


Fonds level description compiled by Lisa Strachan, GASHE Archivist September 2001 and revised by Sarah Chubb, Archives Hub Project Archivist, April 2002.

Other Finding Aids

Handlists are available for some of the material.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges are made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply.


Further accruals expected.

Related Material

GB 254 MS 14 Dundee Institute of Architects

GB 254 UR-DIAT Dundee Institute of Art and Technology

GB254 UR-DU University of Dundee


Dundee Institute of Technology. The first hundred years, 1888-1988, Dundee Institute of Technology, Dundee, 1989

The First Hundred. Dundee's Art College 1892-1992, McManus Galleries, Dundee, 1992

Shafe, Michael, University Education in Dundee 1881-1981: A Pictorial History, Dundee: University of Dundee, 1982

Additional Information

The material is original.

Geographical Names