Records of Hanna, Donald & Wilson, shipbuilders and engineers, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Catalogue late 19th early/20th century;
  • Testimonials of work undertaken by company 1908-1909;
  • Donald family tree 19th century;
  • Undated photocopied material including list of vessels built, workshop plan, advertisements, photographs and contract details.

This collection is currently unavailable for consultation in the searchroom. For more information please contact the Duty Archivist

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1816,  the engineering firm of Reid & Hanna was established at Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland . In 1851, James Donald became a partner and the name was changed to Hanna & Donald . Donald's younger brother, William, was the shipbuilder in the firm of Donald & MacFarlane, later Donald & Co, Glasgow. That business failed in 1868 and Hanna & Donald acquired their Atlas works in Paisley. The same year saw the company commence its shipbuilding operations along with the Abercorn Shipbuilding Co , Paisley..

In 1870  the business changed its name to Hanna, Donald & Wilson . The company was based at the Abercorn Foundry & Abbey Works, Paisley . Operating from a landlocked site, the shipbuilding side of the company specialised in sectional boats for inland waters, which were reassembled on delivery. The company also built high speed naval vessels for the Greek and British Navy and other shallow vessels as well as operating as gas and water engineers, iron founders, bridge and boiler makers. Other contracts included Waverley Station, Edinburgh, Scotland; St Enoch Station, Glasgow, Scotland; and the Cumberland & Westmorland Railway. Civil and mechanical engineering works were supplied to many European and far eastern countries as well as to Canada and Australia. It appears that the two companies were wound up in the 1910s  , with the Abercorn ship yard being sold in 1920.

Ritchie, L A (ed),The Shipbuilding Industry: A Guide to Historical Records(1992, Manchester)


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

Access Information


This collection is currently unavailable for consultation in the searchroom. For more information please contact the Duty Archivist

Acquisition Information

Donald family : 23 March 1993

Other Finding Aids

Manual file level list available in searchroom and at the National Register of Archives in London (NRA21083)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

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

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

Held by the Donald family


None expected

Related Material

See source list on Shipping and Shipbuilding Industry available via Glasgow University Archive Services homepage at

GB 064 Ship plans and records n.d. (National Maritime Museum, Manuscripts Section)

For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the Archon repository search page


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material consists of copies. The location of the originals of these copies is unknown.

Collection catalogued by Jenny Bunn, Assistant Archivist, 14 February 2000. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description by Andrew Semple, Administration Assistant, 4 February 2003. Edited by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 17 December 2002, and Gemma Tougher, Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing), 2 April 2012.

Geographical Names