Papers of Professor Henry Dyer, 1848-1918, alumnus, engineer and educationalist, Glasgow, Scotland and Japan

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

  • Correspondence, 1882-1910;
  • Official documentation, 1874-1910;
  • Papers relating to education and qualifications, 1868-1915;
  • Papers relating to employment, 1873-1878;
  • Newspaper cuttings, 1902-1918;
  • Photographs of Dyer and family, circa 1870s-1918;
  • Family papers, circa nineteenth century.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Dyer graduated BSc from the University in  1873 , and became an influential engineer and educationalist who played an important role in revolutionising the Japanese higher education curriculum.

Dyer graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1873, and on the recommendation of his former professor,  Macquorn Rankine took up the appointment of Principal of, and Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the Imperial College of Engineering, Tokyo, a new institution created to educate generations of engineers who would contribute to the modernisation of Japan. Alongside Yamao Yozo, Japanese Minister of Public Works in the first Meiji era government, Dyer created a new and innovative curriculum aimed at both theoretical and hands on training. Upon graduation, many of the Japanese students were awarded Japanese Government funding to undertake further study abroad, many of them attending the University of Glasgow and gaining work experience in the industries of Scotland.

The Japanese government appointed Dyer to the Order of the Rising Sun (third class) for his contribution to engineering education and as Director of Engineering works within Japan. On his resignation from the University of Tokyo in  1882 , Dyer was also made Honorary Principal of the Imperial College of Engineering in recognition of his upwards of nine years service as Principal of, and Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering.

On his return to Glasgow, Dyer remained a proponent of and friend to the many Japanese students who would continue to train at the University of Glasgow, and in 1901, at Dyer's request, the University Court decreed that Japanese was to be an entry subject in the preliminary examination for aspiring students.

Dyer went on to graduate DSc in  1890 , and University conferred him with an LLD in  1910 for his services to education.


Listed by box. Items are generally listed in their original order.

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to the  Data Protection Act 1998

Acquisition Information

Deposit : Alexander Crowe : 20/03/2017 : ACCN 4106

Other Finding Aids

Box list available on application to the Duty Archivist

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  Duty Archivist

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

Appraisal Information

This material has not yet been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures


None expected

Related Material

No related material

Location of Originals

This material is original


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 1999and 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 Florence Dall, Archives Assistant, 8 December 2017.

Geographical Names