Lectures of Professor John Gustave Pilley (1899-1968)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-456
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 folder, 1 envelope with documents, circa 80 audiotapes (1.25 linear metres)
  • Location
      Gen. 2212/12/1-2; E90.55

Scope and Content

The material is composed of: typescript transcripts from tape recordings of lectures on the theory and history of education given at Edinburgh University, 1958-1959; a copy of a typescript of the dialogue Topsy among the abstractions; and, audiotapes of lectures from 1951 to 1965.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Gustave Pilley was born on 6 January 1899. He studied at Dulwich College and at the age of eighteen he joined the Army, serving in France with the Royal Engineers until October 1918. He then studied at Exeter College, Oxford, graduating in Natural Science in 1922 before going on to research in Physics. Pilley became a Lecturer in Education at Lverpool University in 1926 and went on to Bristol University in 1927 in the same capacity. There he specialised in Methods of Science Teaching and in Theory of Education. In 1937, after Bristol, he went to America, becoming a Visiting Professor at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, then in 1939, Head of the Education Department. His publications include Electricity (1927). In 1951 he became Professor of Education at Edinburgh University. Professor John Gustave Pilley died on 11 July 1968.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Transcripts from tape recordings and typescript of dialogue, acquired from Dept. of Philosophy, June 1986, Accession no. E86.42. Audiotapes acquired from Mr. Christopher Pilley, May 1990, Accession no. E90.55.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) University of Edinburgh journal. Vol. 16. 1951-1953. Autumn 1951. p.2. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1951. (2) Who was who 1961-1970. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1972.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Corporate Names