Student records 1877-1907.
Department of Oriental Languages
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- ReferenceGB 248 GUA ORI
- Dates of Creation1877-1907
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical Description2 volumes
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Oriental languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac) have been taught at Glasgow University since the sixteenth century. The reforming Principal Andrew Melville took on the responsibility for teaching Oriental Languages himself. The University's new Charter, the Nova Erectio in 1577 , confirmed that it was the Principal's responsibility to teach languages, particularly Hebrew and Syriac. The Principal was also confirmed as holder of the Chair of Divinity founded under the Charter. However as a result of the heavy workload, it became customary to appoint one of the Regents as 'professor of Hebrew' to assist the Principal.
The Principal's responsibilities were further lightened with the founding in 1640 of a second Chair of Divinity, with the first holder being David Dickson ( 1640-1650 ). In 1642 a third Chair of Divinity was founded specifically for the teaching of Oriental Languages. The first man to be appointed to the Chair was Robert Baillie ( 1642-1662 ). A full list of the University's professors from 1451 to 2001 can be found at http://www.archives.gla.ac.uk/about/publish/elecpubs.html . However after 1674 the teaching of Oriental Languages declined and passed into the hands of the Regent.
In 1709 the Chair of Oriental Languages was founded at Glasgow University by Queen Anne , as part of the Faculty of Divinity, the first professor being Charles Morthland ( 1709-1745 ). Notable occupants of the Chair have included John Anderson ( 1755-1757 ), James Buchanan ( 1757-1761 ), and James Robertson ( 1877-1907 ) founder of the Glasgow University Oriental Society . In 1893 the Chair was renamed the Chair of Hebrew and Semitic Languages, and Hebrew and Arabic were included as subjects for the Ordinary MA Degree. The Aramaic and Syriac classes expanded, and in 1902 Thomas Hunter Weir was appointed as full-time lecturer in Arabic. In 1903 an Honours Degree in Semitic Languages was instituted.
As of 2002 the languages of Hebrew and Arabic are taught by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies within the Faculty of Divinity.
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University of Glasgow
Subfonds level description compiled by Natalie Milne, archives assistant, January 2002 and John O'Brien, archives assistant, October 2002 .