Papers of Dr Ronald G Cant

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence 1925-1999, papers relating to Cant's publications and research interests, and files relating to subjects on which he had correspondence or committee membership as well as photographs, postcards and slides. Many of the subjects covered relate to the University of St Andrews as he, on occasion, researched historical topics as required by the University.

Only a small proportion of the files have been identified but they cover subjects including: William Beattie / Edinburgh Bibliographical Society, 1935-50; Portraits, 1940-57; Medical Faculty Mace, 1940-57; University Air Squadron, 1947-49; University and College arms, 1950-51, 1953; National Buildings Record, 1940-52; St Andrews Preservation Trust, 1930-63; Scottish Fisheries Museum, 1963-76; Central and North East Fife Preservation Society, 1962-79; Scottish Country Life Museums Trust, from 1963; Preservation Societies, Fife, 1961-69; Preservation Societies, Scotland, from 1946; St Andrews Tenements.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ronald Gordon Cant MA, D.Litt, (1908-1999) historian and conservator, was born in Karachi, India, educated at Edinburgh Academy, the University of St Andrews (1924-28) and Oriel College, Oxford (B.A., 1932). After research in Edinburgh he was appointed first lecturer in Medieval History at the University of St Andrews in 1935, being promoted Reader in Scottish History in 1954. He retired in 1974 and died in St Andrews on 31 December 1999.

As a founder member of St Andrew Preservation Trust from 1937, he was appointed one of its honorary Vice-Presidents from 1974. He received an honorary degree from Glasgow University in 1977, and was the author of many publications. He helped found the Fife Folk Museum in Ceres and the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther. He served on the Boards of the National Library of Scotland and the National Museum of Antiquities of which he was a Trustee for many years. He was a member of the Scottish Country Life Museum Trust and the Historic Buildings Council for Scotland. He was a vice-president of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and a member of the Advistory Committee of the National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.


The papers have been roughly sorted and the main series has been arranged in chronological order.

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment with the Archivist. Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted.


Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

List in preparation.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

In progress.

Custodial History

Deposited for examination and listing in 2000.



Related Material

GB 227 UYLY900 Papers and correspondence of RG Cant as Keeper of Muniments.


RG Cant, The University of St Andrews: A Short History, (3rd ed., St Andrews, 1992), RG Cant, The College of St Salvator, (Edinburgh, 1950)

Additional Information

This material is original.

Geographical Names