Records of the Glasgow 1999 Festival Co Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

The archive of The Glasgow 1999 Festival Co Ltd contains many of the publications, correspondence, press releases, press cuttings and the working papers that were produced by the company in the run-up to and during the year-long celebration. Papers relating to the evaluation of the project are also included.

Items not directly related to the working office of the festival company have also been kept, for instance, examples of the merchandise and associated publicity. A record was also made of many of the events and publicity surrounding the year; video & audio recordings of the lectures and photographs of successful projects and schemes.

Administrative / Biographical History

In November 1994, Glasgow, Scotland, was awarded the title of UK City of Art and Design 1999. This formed part of the decade of annual celebrations that were promoted by the Arts Council of Great Britain (later to be the Arts Council of England). Competition for this title was fierce, with the 17 cities that originally competed for the title finally being reduced to a choice between Glasgow and it's east-coast neighbour and capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. At stake was GBP 400,000 from the Arts Council, plus the opportunity to generate much more income for the winning city through future funding bids, sponsorship, grants, tourism, exhibitions, and sales (including the production of catalogues and other merchandise).

The Glasgow 1999 Festival aimed to celebrate excellence in architecture and design from around the world; to promote awareness in the people of Glasgow, its communities, organisations and business of the cultural and economic importance of the design process; and to highlight new thinking to help position Glasgow as a major European city of ideas. In order to do this, the Glasgow 1999 Festival Co Ltd created a programme of individual projects and events that encompassed a variety of issues raised by contemporary concerns about architecture and design and that addressed the economic significance of design and architecture for Glasgow's businesses and institution. Further to this, the Festival was to leave a legacy to the city in the form of the Lighthouse Centre for Architecture and Design situated on Mitchell Lane.

Events and projects included exhibitions, conferences and displays; the development of the Lighthouse centre; the Glasgow Collection project that helped to fund new product ideas to a prototype stage; education and community programmes; Homes for the Future, a project to build a new residential area incorporating innovative design principles near Glasgow Green; Millennium Spaces to develop high quality public spaces designed by artists in consultation with local communities; and the Partnership Fund to fund various small scale projects with goals compatible with the aims of the Glasgow 1999 Festival.

The Lighthouse was the largest and most high profile Glasgow 1999 project. It had a further significance as it was the most important legacy of the festival. The Lighthouse cost nearly GBP 13 million and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Structural Funds, the Scottish Arts Council, Arts Council of England, Glasgow Development Agency, Glasgow City Council, Historic Scotland and private sponsors. The Lighthouse is housed in the former Glasgow Herald offices built by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Its aim is to combine excellence with accessibility, introducing architecture and design to a mass audience, alongside specific programmes tailored to appeal to children, school and colleges, architecture and design professionals and the business community.

In 2002, the Glasgow 1999 Co Ltd was still an active company.


Where ever possible the archive is arranged to mirror the structure of the Glasgow 1999 Festival Co Ltd. The papers of the Deyan Sudjic, director, and Eleanor McAllister, deputy director, of the Glasgow 1999 Festival Company, and papers relating to the existence of the company as a whole, for example the board minutes and bid documents, are all listed in the first series Establishment Information.

The archive is arranged as follows:

  • DC 28/1: Establishment information
  • DC 28/2: Capital Projects and Sponsorship
  • DC 28/3: Communications
  • DC 28/4: Education
  • DC 28/5: Exhibitions
  • DC 28/6: The Glasgow Collection
  • DC 28/7: Initiatives
  • DC 28/8: Marketing

Access Information

Open, although some records have a 100 year closure period

Glasgow School of Art Archives are open for research Monday to Friday, 9.30am-12.00 and 2.00-5.00pm, by appointment only

Acquisition Information

Deposit : Glasgow 1999 Festival Co Ltd : April 2000

Other Finding Aids

An item level list of the collection is available in the search room and at the NRA(S) and NRA in London

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Adele Ashley-Smith, Archivist, 2000-2001

Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 14 May 2002

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the GSA Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Any copyrights such as the Glasgow 1999 Festival Co Ltd may possess in this material are hereby licensed to Glasgow School of Art for the duration of copyright in terms of law

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard procedures

Custodial History

Previously kept in the offices of Glasgow Council Offices leased by the Glasgow 1999 Festival Co Ltd in Queen Street


No accruals expected

Related Material

Material relating to on going Education Projects is still housed at The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow. Some slides relating to community projects and exhibitions are also housed at The Lighthouse

Additional Financial information is held at Glasgow City Council

Glasgow School of Art Library also holds copies of most of the publications produced by the Glasgow 1999 Festival Co Ltd. Press cuttings and some ephemera have been kept on Glasgow 1990; European City of Culture; and the 1987 Garden Festival as well as additional press cuttings taken by Glasgow School of Art Staff on Glasgow 1999 and post Glasgow 1999, and The Glasgow Collection. These are available in the press cuttings folders available in the archives search room. Many of these may not appear in the Glasgow 1999 Festival Company Archive.

Geographical Names