Papers of Christian James Fordyce, 1901-1974, Professor of Humanity, 1934-1971, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Transcripts of Glasgow University Library Special Collections material (MS Murray and MS Gen), 20th century;
  • Papers relating to Addison's printed University of Glasgow matriculation and graduation albums, 19th and 20th centuries;
  • Speeches, invitations and presscuttings, 1950-1971.

Administrative / Biographical History

Christian James Fordyce was born in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, on 25 September 1901  . His father, James Wilson Fordyce, was a teacher. Prior to attending university, Christian was a student at Whitehill Higher Grade School, Glasgow. Christian attended the University of Glasgow from 1916-1920  , taking classes in Latin (Ordinary) and Greek (Ordinary) in his first year; Latin (Intermediate), Greek (Intermediate) and English Language and Literature (Ordinary) in his second year; Latin (Honours), Greek (Honours) and Mathematics (Ordinary) in his third, and Latin (Honours), Greek (Honours) and Logic (Ordinary) in his fourth and final year. He was awarded the Cowan medal for Latin (Ordinary) and the Jeffrey medal for Greek (Ordinary) in 1917; the Cowan medal (Blackstone examination) for Latin, the Cowan medal (Blackstone examination) for Greek, the Scott MacFarlan medal for Greek (Intermediate) and the Buchanan prize for English Language and Literature (Ordinary) in 1918; the Ramsay medal in Latin in 1919 and the Thomas Logan Memorial medal and prize for most distinguished graduate in Arts in 1921. He also received a certificate of distinction for Latin (Intermediate) in 1918, a special certificate for Maths (Ordinary) in 1919, and a certificate of distinction in Latin (Honours) and a first class certificate for Logic (Ordinary) in 1920. He graduated with a first class honours MA in Classics in April 1921  . He then studied Classics at Balliol College, University of Oxford , from 1920-1924  , as a Snell Exhibitioner and Newlands Scholar. He was awarded the Gainsford Prize for Greek Prose in 1921, Hertford and Craven scholarships in 1922 and the Chancellor's Prize for Latin Prose in 1923. He graduated with a first class BA honours degree in Literae Humaniores (Classics) in 1924  . After a further year at Balliol College, University of Oxford , as a War Memorial Research student, his first academic appointments were as Lecturer of Greek at the University of St Andrews from 1925-1926  , and Lecturer in Humanity at the University of Edinburgh from 1926-1927  . He was appointed Fellow, Classical Tutor and Librarian at Jesus College, University of Oxford , from 1927-1934  and then Professor of Humanities at the University of Glasgow from 1934-1971  . He also served as Clerk of Senate (1940-1971), Senate's Assessor (1960-1968) and Dean of Faculties (1973). In 1961 he was conferred the award of Commander of the Order of St Olaf and in 1962 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of St Andrews . His publications include Herodotus in Ireland : being part of the third book of his account of Britain, (1921); A rhythmical version of Bede's De Ratione Temporum, (1927); The library of Jesus College, Oxford, with an appendix on the books bequeathed thereto by Lord Herbert of Cherbury, (1937) with T M Knox; Catullus: a commentary, (1961) and P Vergili Maronis Aeneidos libri VII-VIII, (1977) with P G Walsh and J D Christie. He died in Glasgow on 21 September 1974  .


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit: Professor David M Walker : 1982

Deposit : Mrs Jean Hewitt : 1993: ACCN 1282

Other Finding Aids

File level list available in searchroom.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History

The records were deposited by Professor David M Walker of the Private Law Department, Glasgow University ( Letter dated 15 May 1982). A subsequent deposit was made by Mrs Jean Hewitt of the University's Campaign Development Office (Accn 1282).


None expected

Related Material

Christian James Fordyce's Coulter prize winning essays The Ideals of the Queen Anne Age as Displayed in its Literature,The Hellespont in the Fifth Century BC, and The Poems of Pontius Meropius Paulinus of Nola, are held by Glasgow University Archive Services: GB 0248 DC 199/396, GB 0248 DC 199/390 and GB 0248 DC 199/397.

Several photographic portraits of Christian James Fordyce are also held by Glasgow University Archive Service: GB 0248 UP 1/188/1, GB 0248 UP 2/98/1, GB 0248 UP 5/9/1, GB 0248 UP 6/14/1, GB 0248 UP 7/106/1 and GB 0248 UP 9/63/1.

Some of Christian James Fordyce's papers are held by the University of Glasgow Special Collections: GB 0247 MS Gen 519/25-26

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Collection catalogued by Moira Rankin on 7 December 1999 and members of Glasgow University Archive Service staff. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 12 March 2004. Administrative history edited by Jane Heward, Archives Assistant, 21 July 2011.