Collection of Beer Labels of James Bertram, collector of beer labels, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Letter books and general correspondence, 1950-2000;
  • Beer labels (3 volumes consisting of around 2,000 beer labels from all over the world), 1930s-1950s;
  • Family papers, 1983-1990s.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Bertram worked for the Edinburgh brewers Thomas & James Bernard & Co Ltd, both before and after the Second World War. He began as an office boy in 1929 and he continued to work for them, becoming secretary to the company before a takeover by Scottish & Newcastle Breweries in 1960. After the war he began to collect beer labels, contacting breweries in the United Kingdom and across the world in order to add to his collection. This led to his coming into contact, and exchanging labels and letters with other beer label collectors, from places such as Spain and Brazil.


The material is arranged according to the Scottish Brewing Archive classification scheme used within all SBA collections.

Access Information

Access to records within this collection is open, however an appointment may be required. Please email Archives and Special Collections for advice:

Acquisition Information

The collection was sold to Scottish & Newcastle plc in 1982 with all proceeds going to charity, in order that the Scottish companies labels could be gifted to the Scottish Brewing Archive.

Other Finding Aids

See also University of Glasgow Collections

File level list available in searchroom.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist.Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures.

Custodial History

The collection was previously stored with the rest of the Scottish Brewing Archive at Heriot-Watt University. It moved to the University of Glasgow in 1991. Custody of the Scottish Brewing Archive was transferred to Glasgow University Archive Services in 2008.


None expected.

Related Material

  • GB 248 D: Records of Drybrough & Co Ltd

Location of Originals

This material is original

Geographical Names