Papers of Charles Allan Oakley, 1900-1993, Lecturer in Industrial Psychology, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • University notes, including class notes and exam papers, 1925-1993;
  • Papers relating to his career, including job applications, 1923-1952;
  • Personal papers, including handwritten articles, school reports, and student songbooks, 1918-1993;
  • Publications, articles and talks by Oakley, 1940-c1990s;
  • Volumes of presscuttings, c1940-1991;
  • Photographs, c1901-1980s;
  • Cartoons and drawings, c1920s-1950s;
  • University of Glasgow reunion celebrations and invitations, 1945-1981;
  • College Pudding, 1925-1965.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Allan Oakley was born in 1900  in Plymouth, where his father was prominent in the Admiralty Dockyard. Although his father died in 1916 he wanted his son to learn the trade of shipbuilding in a good yard, namely John Brown and Co Ltd at Clydebank. Dr Oakley served his apprenticeship in Naval Architecture and subsequently won a scholarship to the University of Glasgow. He graduated in 1923 with a BSc. However, the anticipated boom in shipbuilding did not occur, so John Brown were unable to take him back. Instead he went to Aberdeen University for three years where he lectured in Educational Psychology.

Having become interested in the film industry at an early age due to his uncle selling films on the South coast of England, where he met the up-and-coming young film writer by the name of  Alfred Hitchcock (indeed Hitchcock supposedly named a character in the 1943 film Shadow of a Doubt after Oakley), Charles Oakley decided to head to Elstree Studio to try script-writing. He did not remain in England for long as a scriptwriter, but he retained his interest in the film industry: he was Secretary, and later Chairman, of the Scottish Film Council.

Dr Oakley returned to Glasgow to lecture in Industrial Psychology at the University. During the Second World War Dr Oakley was employed by the Air Ministry under Lord Beaverbrook as the Scottish Officer for Production. Aside from his academic career, Dr Oakley had strong links with industry through the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. He was also linked with university and college developments in Glasgow and was the Honorary President of the former Glasgow Polytechnic. Dr Oakley was twice nominated for the St Mungo Prize which was awarded every third year to someone "who had done most for the good of the city, by making it more beautiful, healthier or more honoured". Dr Oakley had a wide variety of interests as can be seen from his many achievements: being involved in the opening of the Cosmos, a theatre that showed Continental films; attending the founding of the Citizens Theatre; founding the Glasgow University Dance Band and starting a popular brand of tinned soup called Jean MacGregor’s. He also wrote and had published a number of articles and cartoons under pen-names like "The Chiel" and "The Gauger". He wrote his famous book The Second City in 1946.

He was married to Agnes Stewart, a medical graduate from the University of Glasgow and a distinguished gynaecologist. They had one daughter, Caroline, also a doctor who is married to Professor James McKillop, a specialist in Nuclear Medicine at the University of Glasgow. Dr Oakley died in April  1993 .


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received.

Access Information

Some records may be subject to Data Protection legislation. Particularly: DC 410/3/4; DC 410/3/8.

Acquisition Information

Deposit : Tom Milne : 1994

Other Finding Aids

Digital 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 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

Formerly in the custody of Charles Allan Oakley


None expected

Related Material

No known 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 Andrew Thomson, Hub Archivist, 14 July 2004. Enhanced lower level descriptions by Michelle Craig, 2013. Edited by Kim Beasley, Retro-Conversion Cataloguing Assistant, June 2016.

Geographical Names