South of Scotland Central Technical College

Scope and Content

Records of the South of Scotland Central Technical College, 1906 - 1922.

Administrative / Biographical History

The South of Scotland Central Technical College first began life as the Galashiels Combined Technical School in 1889. The range of classes available and the number of students steadily grew, and was boosted in 1901, when the Scotch Education Department extended its sphere of influence to include technical classes, and made grants available. Textile education could now establish firm foundations for the future. In 1906, funds raised by a public appeal organised by the Galashiels Burgh School Board included 11,000 donated by the manufacturers. This was matched by a grant from the Scotch Education Department. In December 1906, an Executive and an Advisory Committee of 19 was elected. Around 1907, they bought Victoria Mill which had been demolished by fire in 1905 for 1750. On the 4th May 1909 the new purpose built College building was opened by Lord Reay in front of 3,000 people. By this time, the College had been designated the South of Scotland Central Technical College. The first Principal of the College was Thomas Oliver, who had served as teacher at the Galashiels Combined Technical School since 1898. Courses offered included Pattern and Fibre Analysis, Textile Testing, Dyeing, Colour, Mechanics, Physics, Machine Drawing, Art, Chemistry, Electricity and Building. During the First World War finishing and knitting machinery was also installed, as well as courses in cooking, tailoring, dressmaking and commercial subjects. In 1922, the Scottish Woollen Manufacturers Association took over responsibility for operating and financing the College, which henceforth became the Scottish Woollen Technical College.


Records are arranged chronologically according to provenance.

Access Information

By appointment. Closure periods may apply to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing personal information. Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted

Other Finding Aids

Printed list plus item level computerised list available in the Searchroom

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents. Permission to publish material from the Archive must be sought in advance from the University Archivist. Responsibility for obtaining copyright clearance rests with the applicant.

Custodial History

The records were stored at the High Mill, and were identified and listed as part of the 1995-1999 Scottish Higher Education Funding Council/Non-Formula Funding project for Specialised Research Collections in the Humanities. Following the merger of the Scottish College of Textiles with Heriot-Watt University in October 1998, responsibility for the collection was transferred to Heriot-Watt University Archive, Records Management and Museum Service. In September 2000, the Archive moved to the Main Building at the Scottish Borders Campus, Galashiels.



Related Material

Records of predecessor and successor bodies are held at the Scottish Borders Campus, Heriot-Watt University: the Galashiels Combined Technical School (GB 582 HWUA GCT); the Scottish Woollen Technical College (GB 582 HWUA SWTC); and the Scottish College of Textiles (GB 582 HWUA SCOT).


  • Thomas Oliver, The Rise of the Scotch Tweed Technique1911. Available in the Archive, or at the Scottish Borders Campus.