Papers of Peter Macnair, 1868-1929, museum curator and natural historian and papers of Helena Macnair, 1899-c1980, arts student, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Peter Macnair's publications and pamphlets, 1888-1927;
  • Helen Macnair's lecture notes, 1918-1921.

Administrative / Biographical History

Peter Macnair was born in Glasgow on 12 September 1868  , and was educated at Kinnoull School and Perth Academy. He was in business from 1885  until 1899  . In 1899  he was appointed Curator of the Green Branch Museum , Glasgow . In 1901  he was an Assistant in the Fine Art and Historical Section, at the Glasgow International Exhibition . In 1902  he was appointed Curator of Natural History Collections in Glasgow Museums , and Professor of Zoology at Anderson's Medical College , Glasgow . He also held the positions of President of the Glasgow Geological Society and Editor of Transactions; Examiner in Geology at the University of Aberdeen , 1908-1910  ; Examiner in Biology to the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons , Glasgow , for the Triple Qualification of the Scottish Licensing Bodies , 1922  ; Tutor in Geology to the Workers' Educational Association , 1921  ; Consulting Geologist in questions of Mining and Civil Engineering. Peter Macnair died on 28 March 1929  .

Publications included many papers on the Geological Structure of the Highlands of Scotland, Scottish Palaeozoic Geology, and museum subjects such as:

  • The Building of the Grampians, 1903;
  • The Geology of the Rouen Glen, 1906;
  • The Intrusive Dolomites in the Neighbourhood of Glasgow, 1907;
  • The Geology and Scenery of the Grampians and the Valley of Strathmore, (2 volumes), 1908;
  • Partly wrote and edited History of the Geological Society of Glasgow, 1909, second edition, 1921;
  • Introduction to the Study of Minerals, 1910;
  • Introduction to the Study of Rocks, 1911;
  • Perthshire, Argyll and Bute, (Cambridge County Geographies), 1911-1913;
  • Introduction to the Study of Fossils, 1912.

Helen Macnair was the daughter of Peter Macnair and Rebecca Mackenzie . She was born on 4 November 1899  in Glasgow . She bagin her studies at the University of Glasgow in 1918  . In her first year she studied Latin and Mathematics. In second year she took Political Economy, Geology and English. And in her third year she studied Logic and Metaphysics and Higher Mathematics. She graduated with an MA in 1920  and went on to become a teacher. She married William Knox and moved to East Lothian in 1930  . In the 1950s  she moved to Berwickshire . She died around 1980  .


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

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit : Margaret M Cumming : Duns, Berwickshire, granddaughter of Peter Macnair : February 1989

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

No related material

Material in other repositories: no material associated by provenance

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level description compiled by Virginia Russell, Archives Assistant, 13 November 2000. Lower level description compiled by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 25 January 2004. Catalogue revised by Melissa Downing, Club 21 Cataloguing Assistant, January 2010 and edited by Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 12 July 2012.

Geographical Names