Heritage Lottery Fund boost for Archive Services' textile industry collections

Published: 7 October 2014

A project to enhance the University of Glasgow’s extensive collection of records relating to the Scottish textile industry has received a funding boost.

A project to enhance the University of Glasgow’s extensive collection of records relating to the Scottish textile industry has received a funding boost.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £91,800 from its Collecting Culture* initiative to enable the University’s Archive Services to further develop its textiles collections.

The money will be used as part of the Darning Scotland's Textile Heritage project to add items such as fabric sample books catalogues, industry tools, and clothes made from 19th and 20th century textiles and theatre costumes.

The University's archive currently holds key collections including those from New Lanark Mills, United Turkey Red, the Stoddard-Templeton collection (two of Scotland's most significant and influential carpet designers and manufacturers) and The House of Fraser Archive.

The collections help inform the research and teaching in the College of Arts and the activities of the Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History.   As part of the project a broad-reaching plan will enable many more people to learn about and research the Scottish textile industry through training, exhibitions and digital resources.

Collecting Cultures is unique in providing curators with a sum of money to develop their collections proactively rather than having to wait for a painting or object to become available on the market. It was developed as a one-off programme but has proved so popular that it is back for a second time.

Clare Paterson, Senior Archivist at the University of Glasgow and project lead, said: “Darning Scotland’s Textile Heritage focuses on the archival and material heritage of Scotland’s textile industry. The textile collections held by the University of Glasgow provide evidence of Scotland’s rich and diverse textile heritage, from weaving and sewing in the home, to full scale mechanized factory textile production.

“The resources held shed light on the entire lifecycle of textiles; from their design, production and manufacture, through their sale as a raw material, to their use in fashion, furnishings, theatre costume and as industrial textiles.

“The project will identify strategic gaps and opportunities for extending these collections through acquisition. Delivering a programme of activities including exhibitions, seminars and interpretative resources to promote engagement with collections, record and share knowledge of the collections and industry, and learn about the Scottish textile industry.

“Darning Scotland’s Textile Collections will celebrate the domestic innovation and global connections of Scotland’s textile industry.”

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “Collecting Cultures is a ground-breaking scheme which evolved after a great many discussions with galleries, libraries and archives to find out how we could best support their long-term strategic development. We are delighted to make this award today and commend the University of Glasgow for its plans to increase public involvement and enjoyment of its collections.”

Dr Anita Quye, Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History at the University of Glasgow and Klaus Staubermann, National Museums of Scotland, said: “This is excellent news for research projects like ReCREATE, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh to bring new historical perspectives on the art and science of Scottish textile-making. These fantastic archives at the University of Glasgow are crucial for deepening and enriching our appreciation of Scotland’s magnificent textile heritage.”

Dr Irene O’Brien, Chair of The Scottish Council on Archives, said: “This is great news for the Scottish archives sector and we congratulate the University of Glasgow Archive Services on being the first archive in Scotland to receive funding through the HLF's Collecting Cultures programme. Their project Darning Scotland's Textile Heritage offers a unique opportunity to develop textile collections at the University through acquisition and expand and share knowledge about Scotland's textile heritage through a range of public engagement activities.”

Media enquiries: stuart.forsyth@glasgow.ac.uk / 0141 330 4831

First published: 7 October 2014

<< October