Records of the University of Paisley, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Paisley Technical School accounts ledger 1898
  • Student attendance registers (incomplete) 1918-1937
  • Paisley Technical College & School of Art calendars 1918-1926
  • National certificates results book 1931-1958
  • Annual reports 1951-2004
  • Correspondence re: donations to College Library 1963-1974
  • Leaflets re: open days/course literature 1960s
  • Bsc fees 1957-1965
  • National Certificate applications & fees (incomplete)1957-1971
  • Course syllabus literature Late 1960s
  • Album of certificates, photographs of ceremonial robes & prize-giving ceremonies 1970s
  • Accounts book (chemistry) 1969-1972
  • Guide books to postgraduate research 1970s
  • Degree renewal proposals 1970s
  • SCOLCAP - copies of correspondence 1980-1982
  • Copies of material for centenary exhibition 1997
  • Draught copies of Forward by Degrees, University of Paisley 1897-1997 by Evelyn Hood 1997
  • Minutes of Academic Board c.1966-1988
  • Minutes & reports of Board of School of Engineering 1971-1973
  • Minutes of Staff Association Meetings c.1968-1974
  • Ledger of insureer's statements 1909-1935
  • Ledger of University fees, accounts, staff salaries, etc c.1932-1946
  • Papers re: Hugh MacDiarmid 1892-1987

Administrative / Biographical History

The  University of Paisley was founded in  1897  as Paisley Technical School and had the support of prominent local people who saw it as a useful adjunct to the manufacturing economy and an appropriate symbol for a thriving industrial town. The first Principal of Paisley Technical School was Angus McLean. He was 35 years of age at the time of his appointment in March 1899 and was a native of Tarbert, Loch Fyne, Scotland and a graduate of the  University of Glasgow, where he was a distinguished student of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. In  1904  the School was renamed Paisley Technical College and School of Art. Degree qualifications were offered through the University of London.

By the mid 1940s the College's involvement in the arts had ceased, whilst its technical courses had increased in number. In 1950 it was created a Scottish Central Institution in recognition of continuing contribution to education, industry and training. There was a major expansion of campus buildings in Paisley in 1963. In 1966 degrees and Honours degrees courses were offered for the first time, validated by the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA). This lead to a rapid rise in the number of degree students.

By the 1990s Paisley was widening access into education and creating flexible study pathways to meet student needs. The College was finally awarded its University title in  1992  and gained authority to award its own degrees. The following year Paisley merged with the former Craigie College of Education, creating the Craigie Campus in Ayr (University Campus, Ayr). Distance learning modes of study were introduced in 1994 - allowing students in Hong Kong to study Paisley courses. That same year Paisley courses were offered in Dumfries and Galloway for the first time in conjunction with Dumfries and Galloway College. Several other departments and campuses were created in the late 1990s. In 1998  the new £6.8m Library and Learning Resource Centre was opened on Paisley Campus.

The University of Paisley is now known as the University of the West of Scotland.


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

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Collection transferred from the Paisley Technical School

Other Finding Aids


Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 27 September 2004.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Chief Librarian.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Custodial History

Formerly in the custody of Paisley Technical School


None expected

Related Material

No related material

Location of Originals

This material is original


Hood, EvelynForward By Degrees: The University of Paisley, 1897-1997Paisley, Scotland 1997