Papers of Andrew McCance Robb, 1887-1968, Professor in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

  • The collection contains documents relating to Professor Robb's assistance in the Board of Trade enquiry into the sinking of the MV Princess Victoria, including notes, reports, ship plans, correspondence and research material, 1951-1953, ;
  • Photograph of Professor Robb, c1960s;
  • Obituary of Professor Robb, 1969.

Administrative / Biographical History

Andrew McCance Robb (1887-1968) was a graduate of Glasgow University who later became Professor of Naval Architecture, 1944 to 1957. He trained with Messrs G L Watson before receiving the Scholarship of the Institution of Naval Architecture to study at the University of Glasgow. He graduated BSc (1910), gaining the Kirk Memorial Prize, and DSc (1921). He was awarded an honorary LLD in 1958.

After receiving his BSc degree Robb worked as an assistant to Sir John Harvard Biles in the Department of Naval Architecture, 1912 to 1916. He served briefly in the army in Mesopotamia in 1916, then returned to Britain as an assistant in the Department of Deputy-Controller for Auxiliary Shipbuilding and as Controller-General of Merchant Shipbuilding from 1917 to 1919; he was also employed as a technical assistant by the shipbuilders Harland & Wolff. In 1920, Robb returned to the University as Biles' assistant. He established himself in business as a consulting naval architect from 1925 until his appointment to the University chair in 1944. He later became Dean of the Faculty of Engineering.

The Royal Institution of Naval Architects awarded him with a Gold Medal, having been a member of its council and later its vice-president. He was also a councillor and president of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland and president of the Liverpool Engineering Society. He was also chairman of the Board of Management for Glasgow Northern Hospitals. He retired from the University of Glasgow in 1957 and died in Glasgow on 30th December 1968.

The collection contains documents relating to Professor Robb's assistance in the Board of Trade enquiry into the sinking of the MV Princess Victoria, a British Railways motor vessel. It had been sailing from Stranraer to Larne on 31st January 1953. The accident resulted in the loss of 133 lives, including Maynard Sinclair (Deputy Prime Minister of Northern Ireland) and Lt Col Sir Walter Smiles (MP for North Down). The inquiry was under The Merchant Shipping Act, 1894 Mr J H Campbell, the Belfast Resident Magistrate, presided over this Ministry of Transport Court of Inquiry held at County Court House, Crumlin Road, Belfast. Professor Robb provided reports for the enquiry, including a story of the disaster based on the evidence he had read and answered a list of 48 questions.

Arrangement

Maintained in the original order

Conditions Governing Access

Open

Acquisition Information

-------------------------------------------

Other Finding Aids

Collection still in the process of being catalogued so there are no other finding aids at present.

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

Material held at the Deptartment of Naval Architecture at the University of Glasgow prior to deposit.

Accruals

None expected

Related Material

GB 0248 NAV Records of the Naval Architecture Department

Location of Originals

This material is original

Bibliography

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 Peter Monteith, Archive Assistant, 14 November 2008. Lower level description compiled by Peter Monteith, Archive Assistant, 14 November 2008

Geographical Names