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Jennifer Lightbody - Cohort visit to National Library of Scotland (Kelvin Hall) and Glasgow City Archives

Jennifer Lightbody, Outreach and Engagement Trainee, Glasgow City Archives

All the trainees came to Glasgow on 15th December for a visit to National Library of Scotland (NLS) Moving Image Archive at the Kelvin Hall, and my cohort day visit at Glasgow City Archives (GCA).

The Moving Image Archive opened in September of this year and so this was the first time many of the trainees had visited.  Emma from NLS introduced the Archive, highlighting the number of ways to view films, and we then watched some pre-selected films.  These reflected films that I had seen at the UNESCO audio-visual heritage day talk in October, telling the story of the first moving images, being shown at fairgrounds and often covering local events.

We also watched some of Scotland’s first Oscar-winning film, Seawards the Great Ships from 1960, documenting shipbuilding on the Clyde and tying in with my previous role in the industry.  A copy of the Oscar can be found in the Archive displays, which we spent some time looking at after the films. 

After lunch, we moved to the Mitchell Library and Michael Gallagher, my host, presented on the holdings of the GCA, ranging from a 12th century papal bull, up to 21st century material.  Michael gave a tour of the library, from the stores to Special Collections and of course our searchroom, then introduced the outreach work that the GCA carries out.

The final part of the day was a “show and tell” of GCA’s shipbuilding material.  Over 25,000 ships started their life on the Clyde, and I showed maps highlighting the extent of shipbuilding in Glasgow.  We also showed photograph albums recording the construction of vessels and yards, plus ship plans and a ship’s log book.   First World War material included photographs of women munition workers and association minutes pertaining to dilution of labour.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the day, and it hopefully gave a flavour of my work plus a broader look at Glasgow and its shipbuilding heritage.  Many thanks to the staff at NLS for hosting us.