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


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

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 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 0248 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 0248 DRY: Records of Drybrough & Co Ltd

Location of Originals

This material is original


Richmond, Lesley and Turton, Alison (eds), The Brewing Industry. A Guide to Historical Records , (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1990).

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.

Collection catalogued by Alma Topen, Scottish Brewing Archivist, and Amanda Jackson, Archives Assistant (Hub), 10 December 1999. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description by Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 8 March 2012. Catalogue edited by Natalie Milne, Archives Assistant (Hub), 20 December 2001, and Wiebke Redlich, Archives Assistant (Hub), 10 June 2002.

Geographical Names