University receives funds to catalogue carpet archive

Published: 23 December 2009

A unique archive of carpet designs, patterns and samples acquired by the University earlier this year has been awarded a grant of £40,000 from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme.

A unique archive of carpet designs, patterns and samples acquired by the University of Glasgow earlier this year has been awarded a grant of £40,000 from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme.

The funds will be used to catalogue the archive of James Templeton &Co and Stoddard International carpet manufacturers, which was purchased in January in conjunction with Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow Museums with the assistance of a £172,000 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

James Templeton & Co and Stoddard International, Scotland’s most successful carpet manufacturers, supplied carpets for a host of historic buildings and occasions such as Westminster Abbey; Windsor Castle; the Whitehouse, the Titanic; coronations since the mid-19th century and the parliament buildings in London, Canberra, Wellington and Cape Town. 

The archive comprises 3,800 design drawings and patterns; 2,000 design sketches; a design library of 1,500 titles, including books and journals; 226 carpet pieces and numerous albums of photographs, encapsulating the history of Scottish carpet manufacturing. 

The larger Stoddard-Templeton Collection, held across the University, Glasgow Museums and Glasgow School of Art, also incorporates complete carpets displayed at major international exhibitions, such as the Twelve Apostles carpet made for the Paris Exhibition of 1867.

Administered by The National Archives, the National Cataloguing Grants Programme distributed over £300,000 to eleven archives in the first national round of the programme. The grants provide essential funding for cataloguing without which archive collections would be inaccessible to the public.

Commenting on the awards, Melinda Haunton, Programmes Manager, The National Archives said: “Cataloguing is a vital but often under-resourced archival practice. Addressing this priority is the origin of the grants programme. Without cataloguing, the rich potential of archives can be lost, not only to the public but also to archives themselves, as they won’t know what information is in their collections. Cataloguing is the crucial first step to open up the nation’s history for all to enjoy.” 

For more information, contact Stuart Forsyth in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 4831 or email
For more information about specific grants and details of spokespeople please contact Frances McDarby, Press Officer at The National Archives, 020 8392 5277, .

Titanic carpet designs saved for nation, January 2009

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First published: 23 December 2009