David Jack photographic collection

Scope and Content

Scottish topographical, including architectural survey of St Andrews, Fife.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Jack , B.Sc., M.A., Ph.D., F.R.S.E., F.Inst.P., (1896-1975) was born and spent his early years in Caithness. He attended school in Thurso and went of Edinburgh University where his student life was interrupted two years of war service during the First World War as a Signaller in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He studied Arts and Science concurrently and graduated MA with first class honours in Mathematics and BSc with special distinction in Natural Philosophy on the same day in 1920. He was for four years Assistant under Professor Barkla in the Department of Natural Philosophy of the University of Edinburgh. He then spent a year at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. In 1925 he returned to Scotland and to St Andrews as Carnegie Teaching Fellow and remained there until he retired as Reader in 1963. His PhD was awarded by St Andrews in 1928 for his research in Spectroscopy.

Within the University he served on General Council, in particular on the Business and Ordinances committees and was elected as an Assessor of the General Council to the University Court in 1946, the first full-time lecturer to serve on Court. He became a member of Senatus in 1955 and later acted as Convenor of its Post-Graduate Scholarships Committee. In 1957 he was elected the first non-Professorial Dean of the Faculty of Science.

He was a member of the Madras Endowment Trust, and the Kirk Session of Hope Park Church, as well as a leading member of the St Andrews Preservation Trust, many of his photographs illustrating its publications. He and his wife were known for their hospitality and welcome and he was widely respected as teacher, counsellor and friend.


The negatives are arranged in accordance with David Jack's own index, partly chronological: pre-1926; 1926-1935; 1937-38; 1940; 1947-56; and partly alphabetical by subject.

Access Information

The photographic collections are currently the subject of a major digitisation project. It is the intention to have the entire archive captured in electronic form, and available (with sophisticated searching facilities) on line via the web. A full version of the software can be accessed in the Library and researchers are welcome to visit the library to use it but it is important that appointments are made in advance. Access to original photographic material may be restricted.


Jack did a lot of exhibition photography, and the prints are retained by the family.

Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist, with reference to Obituaries in University of Edinburgh Journal, 1975-6, p. 162; University of St Andrews Alumnus Chronicle, no. 54, June 1963, pp. 22-23 and no. 67, June 1976, pp. 57-8.

Other Finding Aids

Original index. Also, the collection was subject to a student research project in 1996 and there original finding aid was typed up, revised and analysed.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies of images held in the photographic collection (with the exception of any photographs which are held either without copyright or under other restrictions imposed by the donor or photographer) can be ordered. Photographs thus provided for purely personal or research purposes are not subject to any fee beyond the photographic costs (for which a scale of charges is available). Prior written permission must be obtained before any further reproduction is undertaken of images supplied, for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Reproduction fees may be charged.

True photographic reprints of most images can be provided, or computer-generated prints of an increasing proportion of the collection at low, medium or high resolution. Given the fragility of the original material our preference is to provide computer prints where possible. We can also provide transparencies and a range of electronic formats.

Custodial History

David Jack's widow gave the collection to the University after his death.

Geographical Names