Dundee College of Education

Scope and Content

Minute Books, 1903-1971; Board of Governors meeting papers and agendas, 1965-1972; College prospectuses, reports, and press cuttings, 1906-1987; Student records, training forms and course information, 1904-1986; Graduation material, 1902-1986; Financial records, 1907-1960; Mayfield Hostel records, 1911-1966; Records relating to Northern College of Education, c 1987; Scottish Education Department, Notes and correspondence, 1956-1972; Photographs, 1916-c 1980; College plans, 1911-1965.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1905 Provincial Committees were established in connection with the four Scottish Universities of St Andrews, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. These Committees were to be responsible for the Training of Teachers in the four provinces into which Scotland was divided for this purpose. In the St Andrews Province the Committee decided to establish Dundee Training College. This was set up to also take King’s scholars (non University students) and by October 1906, when the College opened in the Technical Institute, Smalls Wynd, there were fifty-one non-University students out of a total enrolment of one hundred and thirty-six.

The main difference between these groups of students was that University students attended University classes while non-University students followed academic courses provided by the College. Although both groups could complete their training in two years, University students could obtain a degree through another year's study.

One of the first problems that faced the fledgling College was where to house its students, a question of particular importance due to the large number that came from a distance. The Roman Catholic Church offered accommodation at Lawside and Forebank, and Presbyterian Churches created lists of approved lodgings. A significant step forward was taken in 1912 when the Hostel of Mayfield in Small’s Wynd was purchased, housing 50 female students by the early years of the first world war.

The College occupied the Technical Institute until 1920, the building proving insufficient to match the growing demands of the successful College. After considering locations at Belmont, Small’s Lane and Friarbank, a site at Park Place was deemed suitable for expansion. Although the foundation stone was laid in 1912 it was not until October 1920 that the site was occupied, the formal opening being performed in 1921 by Her Grace, the Duchess of Atholl.

The cost of the new building and the reduction in student numbers in the period during and after the First World War, left the College facing a financial crisis. Such monetary concerns were eased over the next few years by an increase in the number of Welsh and English students and a restructuring of grant income. A limitation of numbers imposed in 1928 heralded the enforced elimination of this group, a decline that coincided with the steady drop in male students training during this period.

During the second world war all Dundee schools were closed; despite this, a proposal to move the College to Forfar was never carried out. During the same period Mayfield was requisitioned by the navy and the number of male students fell dramatically. The influx of 'emergency students' during wartime helped raise enrolment to a peak of 421 in 1947-1948. By 1950 and the departure of the main body of ex-Service students, the College returned to more normal conditions.

The College celebrated its Jubilee in 1956 and in 1975 moved to new premises in West Ferry, with the buildings at Park Place being taken over by the University. The Scrymgeour Building, the traditional premises of the College, was occupied by the Faculty of Law in 1978, who continue to occupy the premises today.

In 1987 the College merged with the Northern College of Education based in Aberdeen. In 2001 the two campuses of the Northern College, in Aberdeen and Dundee, were merged into the University of Aberdeen and the University of Dundee respectively.

Further restructuring at the University of Dundee has ensured that the Teaching College is now within the confines of the larger School of Education, Social Work & Community Education. The current School premises at Gardyne Road have been purchased by Dundee College and the School plan to transfer their locations to the main University campus by July 2007.

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Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list. Subject source lists and databases are also available.

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Gary Smith, Archives Assistant, November 2006

Geographical Names