Another year is nearly over, so its time to look back at what new accessions have arrived at the Archives in 2019. We have had 91 deposits – so far! These have included transfers from other Council departments, including school records, valuation records, certificates and awards. But we have also had a lot of deposits from clubs, societies, families and individuals. Our first accession of the year was the records of Isabella Philp, who passed away in 2018 (Ref: GD/X1464). Sadly she had no family to pass her records on to. But a note was found amongst her possessions instructing her friends to offer the records to Dundee City Archives (see above). The collection largely relates to Isabella’s early life and experiences working in the Blackness Foundry and the nearby shell factory during WW2.
Another interesting donation was the diary of James Kidd, seaman. The diary dates from 1853-1855 and records James’ time aboard several ships, including the ‘John Oldham’ and ‘Polmaise’. During one voyage he visits the Crimean peninsula and there are some references to the war which was still ongoing. We also received a donation of records relating to William Keir, who was a baker with shops on Balgowan Avenue and Craigie Avenue (Ref: GD/X1469). For a short time he ran his business under the name Doughnuts (Dundee) Ltd. It seems that he won many prizes for his sultana cake, shortbread and Dundee cake.
A rather sweet collection of letters written to Agnes Japp were given to us in March (Ref: GD/X1472). They date from the First World War and were written by her brother John (or Jack) and John Cook – who she would marry when the war was over. A few 1960s and 1970s Vehicle Registrations volumes finally made their way up to Dundee. They had previously been thought lost, but were found at another archive in Wales. These will be indexed by our volunteers soon.
The Friends of Dundee City Archives have also helped to purchase a few items being sold locally and nationally. The first was a collection of 102 glass slides, created by members of the Dundee Roads Cycling Club (Ref: GD/1486). There is a range of images from race meetings, to group get-togethers and hikes up mountains in the Highlands (don’t worry, I don’t think they took their bikes on those occasions). We hope to get these images digitised in the near future, that way more people can enjoy them.
The Friends also recently purchased a photographic montage of workers at Dundee Post Office, dating from 1905 (Ref: GD/X1488). The photograph is made up of smaller photographs, taken in a Dundee studio. Sadly, the individual images do not have any names or job titles, so we don’t know who the people are. The Friends have also purchased various individual postcards and photographs showing scenes in Dundee.
The Archives was contacted by a charity shop in Glenrothes, who informed us that they had a collection of old photographs of Dundee. For a small donation they agreed to sell the photographs to the Archives. We are not sure if these were collected by one person. Some of the images appear to be postcards, whereas others are photographs. So it is possible they belonged to a family. Subject to copyright we may be able to digitise these in the future.
We would like to thank all of our depositors for allowing us to take care of their records. Now matter how big or small, all accessions of records relating to Dundee are welcomed at the Archives. If you have photographs, letters, business accounts or club minutes that you no longer want, please think about depositing them at an archive. This way they will be available for everyone to view, study or be inspired by in the future.