J.E.A. Steggall photographic collection

Scope and Content

Scottish, English and continental European journeys, 1887-1925, also one album of photographs by friends of Steggall which cover 1910-1932.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Edward Aloysius Steggall (1855-1935) was born in London and attended the City of London School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He graduated Second Wrangler and was first Smith's Prizeman in 1878. He taught as Assistant Master at Clifton College for five terms before becoming Fielden Lecturer at Owens College, Manchester, from 1880-1882. In December 1882 he was appointed Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at University College, Dundee within the University of St Andrews. After university re-organisation in 1895 he continued as Professor of Pure and Applied Mathematics until his retirement in 1933.

Problem solving within and outside mathematics he dealt with in a devastating manner, deft and quick. His professional interest was in the theory of numbers and kinematical geometry but he was equally at home in physics as mathematics, was a connoisseur of music, art and architecture, a passable draughtsman and excellent photographer, woodworker and keen cyclist, a classical and linguistic scholar and he published a book on Perthshire scenery. In Dundee he was actively involved in university politics and administration, helping to set up the Students Union (1886) and serving as assessor to the University Court. He participated in city and church affairs, was co-founder of the Dundee Social Union in 1888 and a regular member of the Dundee School Board.

He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1885), J.P. (1910) and an Honorary Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects (1925), Honorary LL.D St Andrews (1933). He married the sister of Sir James Frazer and had two daughters and a son who was killed at the Battle of Jutland, 1916. As an enthusiastic traveller and skilled amateur photographer, he travelled widely in Europe, visiting: Tyrol, Venice, Lausanne, Strasbourg and Brussels in 1895, Normandy and Brittany in 1899, Lucerne in 1901, Milan, Florence and Rome in 1908, Basle in 1922, Bologna in 1928 and Zurich in 1932. He also visited Australia in 1914 and South Africa in 1929.


Photographs remain in the original albums. They are indexed, however, and are identified with the number of their album and then sequentially. Each is usually dated. Entries are available in the topographical index for Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ceylon, Egypt, France, Germany, Gibraltar, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, India, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland. They are then listed alphabetically by place. There are two additional sections on 'individuals and groups' and 'transport'.

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.


The images are available on the photographic database.

Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist using notes from Hilary Mason, M. Shafe, University Education in Dundee and Who was Who, 1929-1940, p. 1285.

Other Finding Aids

Three slip indices, arranged by country, alphabetically.

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

The material came to the library after Steggall's death in 1935. It was identified from other miscellaneous material in the 1960s.


Not expected.


M Shafe, University Education in Dundee, 1881-1981: A Pictorial History, (Dundee, 1982), p. 25; H Mason, The Life and Work of Professor Steggall, (Dundee University Thesis, 1996)

Additional Information

This material is original.