MA Electronic Communication & Publishing, University College London
Recovery Project Lead, Archives & Collections
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Polly studied languages as an undergraduate and completed her Masters at the School of Library, Archive & Information Science, UCL in 2000. Since then Polly has worked in the arts sector, promoting the access and use of art and archive collections for teaching, learning and research, both to academic and general audiences. She was a founder member of the Visual Arts Data Service http://www.vads.ac.uk/, becoming Director in 2007; she established an Image Bank and then the Digitisation Unit for the University for the Creative Arts in 2009 and 2011 respectively, and then moved to Tate in 2012 to manage the Transforming Tate Britain: Archives & Access project http://www.tate.org.uk/art/archive until February 2015.
Polly is now Project Lead for the Archives & Collections Recovery Project at GSA, following the devastating fire in May 2014. During the next three years a programme of conservation, digitisation, collection management and collection development work will take place to stabilise and rebuild GSA’s Archive & Collection, and to enable access and engagement therewith. Please contact Polly if you have any questions relating to this work.
BDes (Hons) Jewellery and Metal Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art
Archives and Collections Assistant
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Cat graduated from Jewellery and Metal Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in 2013. During two years of designing and making jewellery alongside running craft classes in Paperchase Glasgow, she became interested in the relationship between archives and creative practice. This lead to her volunteering for both North Lanarkshire Archives and The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections.
Cat then undertook a Skills for the Future traineeship with Glasgow City Archives and The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections as part of Scottish Council on Archives’ Opening Up Scotland’s Archives project. Her project focused on outreach and community engagement and looking at ways of bringing alternative audiences into archive repositories. As part of this, she developed a workshop for art students inviting them to use the archive collections as inspiration for a creative project.
Cat has now returned to the Archives and Collections as Archives and Collections Assistant. She is the first point of contact for visitors and enquirers interested in the rich and diverse historical material we hold. She is also responsible for maintaining the Archives and Collections social media channels and blog. Please contact Cat if you have any questions about our holdings or any of GSA’s previous staff and students.
MA (Hons) Modern History, University of St Andrews
Archives and Collections Project Assistant
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Fiona Graduated with a degree in Modern History from the University of St Andrews in 2014. Her studies focused on Russian culture and historiography but she also developed an interest in the visual culture of the French Revolution.
Prior to taking up the position of Archives and Collections Project Assistant earlier this year, Fiona worked in libraries, both public and academic before undertaking an HLF funded Skills for the Future Traineeship at Historic Environment Scotland. During her heritage traineeship, which covered both archives and education and outreach, Fiona developed an interest in war memorials and stained glass. While carrying out a reconnaissance of stained glass material housed in the collection, she rediscovered designs for memorial windows in churches throughout Scotland. The collection included cartoons by Alice and Morris Meredith Williams, and some designs for heraldic panels in the Thistle Chapel in St Giles Cathedral.
Fiona currently works on the Home Front Memorial Project and, along with several volunteers, is carrying out research in the lives and the activities of the staff and students who remained at the school during the 1914-18 period. You can read more about her research on the GSA Archives and Collections blog.
MA (Hons) History of Art and Slavonic Studies, The University of Glasgow
Collections Development Officer
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Michelle graduated with a first class honours degree in History of Art and Slavonic Studies from The University of Glasgow in 2006. With a personal interest in Art Nouveau and Glasgow Style architecture, furniture and interiors, she joined The Glasgow School of Art as Archives and Collections Assistant in 2012, having previously worked in various museum and archive roles at The National Trust for Scotland and The University of Glasgow, one of which was as Project Assistant for the Stoddard-Templeton Corporate and Design Archive, the archive of one of the world’s most successful carpet manufacturers. In 2014, as Archives and Collections Project Officer, she developed and managed a project to create an online catalogue for GSA’s archives and collections.
A major fire in the School’s Mackintosh Building in May 2014 resulted in the loss of parts of the School’s built heritage, art and furniture holdings and damage to some of its paper based archives and textile collections. During the next three years a programme of collections management and collection development work will take place to stabilise and rebuild GSA’s Archives and Collections. As Collections Development Officer for GSA’s recovery project, Michelle’s role involves the cataloguing, documentation, digitisation, conservation and repackaging of GSA’s holdings. As part of the project she will also examine existing collections management processes and implement new procedures where necessary.
Michelle also manages a team of volunteers who support associated activities and supervises the A&C’s student work placements and internships. Please get in touch with her if you are interested in volunteering or undertaking a work placement at The Glasgow School of Art’s Archives and Collections.
MSci (Hons) Mathematics and Physics, University of Glasgow
Skills for the Future Trainee
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Jennifer graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1998. She spent nearly 18 years working as an engineer in the defence industry, carrying out both technical and project management work in the design of quiet ships.
Based on an interest in family history, Jennifer has made a career change into archiving. She is currently undertaking the second half of a Skills for the Future traineeship via the Scottish Council on Archives’ Opening Up Scotland’s Archives project. She is based at the GSA Archives and Collections for six months, having spent six months working at the Glasgow City Archives. Jennifer’s traineeship covers outreach and community engagement, and widening archives’ audiences.
Whilst at the GSA Archives and Collections, Jennifer will be cataloguing and sharing film footage of 1970s and 80s fashion shows, and working with staff and alumni to find out more about these films. She will be linking the films to other material found in the collections, and uploading clips of the films online. Updates on the progress of the project can be found on Jennifer’s upcoming blogs.
MLitt (St Andrews); FRSA (Fellow, Royal Society of Arts)
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After completing a Masters’ Degree in Museum Studies at the University of St Andrews, Peter has spent the past 20 years promoting the School’s Mackintosh Building and its important museum collections, both at home and abroad. He has curated exhibitions in the UK, Europe, the USA and Japan and has contributed to conferences throughout Europe and in Canada, Australia and the USA. In 1999 he helped establish the Réseau Art Nouveau Network – a pan-European project involving cities with an art nouveau legacy – becoming its President in 2009, and is interested in issues relating to architectural heritage and the effects of cultural tourism on the built environment. He is currently undertaking research into the history of the School’s Mackintosh Building and how its physical appearance and operational use has changed over the past century.
He represents GSA on various external committees and groups including the Glasgow Mackintosh Group and the University Museums in Scotland group. He is also a Director of GSA Enterprises Ltd.
Peter’s areas of expertise include: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style; works by other GSA graduates, covering fine art, design and architecture; European Art Nouveau; the management of cultural heritage. Please get in touch with Peter if you have any questions relating to these areas.
MA (Hons) MARM RMARA AFHEA
Archives and Collections Manager
• 0141 353 4592
Susannah manages the Archives and Collections service which comprises visitor services, collection management, and outreach & engagement work.
She studied History of Art at the University of Glasgow before completing a Masters in Archives and Records Management at the University of Liverpool. She is also a registered member of the Archives and Records Association and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Susannah is particularly interested in the use of archives by creative practitioners and the role of historical sources in higher education. She has worked on a number of exhibitions, seminars and workshops relating to the School’s historical collections and has written articles for The Journal of the Scottish Records Association, The Journal of the Society of Archivists and the Art Libraries Journal.
Please contact Susannah if you would like to donate something to our archives, if you have an in-depth enquiry about GSA’s history, or if you are interested in working with our archives as part of a collaborative and/or creative project.