Records of Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College / Royal Technical College / Royal College of Science and Technology

Scope and Content

Minutes and papers of Board of Governors and Board of Studies; Constitutional enactments; Annual reports and reports of research; Financial records; Staff records; Estates and buildings records; Records relating to SED and UGC; Calendars and prospectuses; Course and student records; Administrative files; Press cuttings; Roll of Honour 1914-1918; Papers relating to art and museum collections, exhibitions and meetings, scholarships and trusts; Records of Glasgow School of Architecture; Records of Glasgow School of Management.

Administrative / Biographical History

In a restructuring of technical education in 1887, Anderson's College, the Young Chair of Technical Chemistry, the College of Science and Arts, Atkinson's and Allan Glen's Institutions merged to form the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, or 'The Tech' as it was affectionately known. Anderson's College Medical School became a separate institution at this time. The College initially occupied the existing buildings of its constituent institutions but the expansion in student numbers, and the desirability of centralising on one site, required a new building. The building was designed by David Barclay and completed in several phases. The foundation stone of the Royal College Building, adjoining the Anderson's College site, was laid by His Majesty King Edward VII on 14 May 1903.

In line with John Anderson's vision of his Institution as a place of useful learning, the College offered a wide range of day and evening courses to support the needs of industry in the West of Scotland. Students studied for Certificates and Diplomas in all branches of engineering (civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, metallurgy and mining), together with chemistry, natural philosophy, mathematics, pharmacy, agriculture, architecture, art and design and music. The Associateship of the College was a highly respected, degree equivalent qualification, and one of the most famous alumni was John Logie Baird, pioneer of television. The Incorporated Weaving, Dyeing and Printing College of Glasgow became part of the College in 1908 and the Department of Agriculture moved in 1899 to become part of the West of Scotland Agricultural College. Architecture courses were offered jointly with Glasgow School of Art, with the College teaching the practical aspects of design and building and the School of Art concentrating on the aesthetic side. Affiliation arrangements were entered with Glasgow University in 1913. Allan Glen's Institution transferred to the control of the School Board of Glasgow in 1912. By gracious invitation of His Majesty King George V, the College was renamed the Royal Technical College in 1912. Shortly after his accession to the throne, the King had embarked upon a tour of the countries in the British Empire and was greatly impressed by the many Scottish engineers whom he met, building roads, railways, and dams and establishing hydro-electric schemes in far flung countries. Most of them seemed to have trained at the Glasgow College. The Royal Technical College was recognised as a University College and received grants from the University Grants Committee from 1919 onwards. The College was renamed the Royal College of Science and Technology in 1956 and in 1964, in merger with the Scottish College of Commerce, received its own Royal Charter as the University of Strathclyde.

Further information may be obtained from the published histories, 'The first technical college', by A H Sexton (1894), 'John Anderson and the College he founded', by James Muir (1950) and 'John Anderson's legacy', by John Butt (1996) and the thesis 'The Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College 1886-1912', by Leslie Forrester (MEd thesis, University of Stirling, 1979)

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Archivist's Note

Archivist's note:Description prepared by Margaret Harrison, Jordanhill LibraryRules or Conventions:Description based on Scottish Archive Network guidelines, based on ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000). and Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997)Date of descriptions:July 2007

Related Material

GB 249 OF Departmental records

GB 249 OG Records of the Incorporated Weaving, Dyeing and Printing College of Glasgow

GB 249 OJD Student Association publications

GB 249 OK Staff and student societies and clubs

GB 249 OL Staff Associations and Trade Unions

GB 249 OM Papers of staff and students

GB 249 OP Photographs