Collection DC 021 - Papers of Henry Young Alison, artist and Interim Director of The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland

H.Y. Alison skiing

Key Information

Reference code

DC 021


Papers of Henry Young Alison, artist and Interim Director of The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland


  • 1805-1972 (Creation)

Level of description



1 Linear Foot

Content and Structure

Scope and content

This collection contains:

  • Family papers, 1805-1889;
  • Wartime records, 1914-1916;
  • Lectures and speeches, c1930-1950;
  • Photographs; c20th century;
  • Miscellaneous papers, c1930-1972;
  • Sketchbooks and drawings; c20th century.

This material may contain sensitive information about individuals that is protected by the Data Protection Act. Until this material has been checked for sensitive information, it will not be available for researchers. Once this Data Protection work is complete the collection will be open for access, however any sensitive information will be closed and inaccessible for 75 years from the date of creation.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

This material has been appraised in line with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures.


System of arrangement

The material is arranged into sub-fonds.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Henry Young Alison, brother of artist David Alison, was born on 21 September 1889 in Dysart, Fife, Scotland. He was a figure and portrait painter and exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy from 1916-1921. He trained at the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland, under Fra. Newbery from 1905-1912, studying drawing and painting and life classes under Maurice Greiffenhagen, Paul Artot and James Huck, and gained his Diploma in 1911.
During the First World War he served in France, but was captured and held as a Prisoner of War. Whilst imprisoned he was wounded in one eye and lost the sight of it (his wartime letters to the Glasgow School of Art survive in the Secretary and Treasurers's letters, 1914-1918). He joined the staff of the Glasgow School of Art in 1927 as an assistant in the Drawing and Painting Classes, becoming Supervisor of the Evening School and the General Course in 1932. At Alan Walton's resignation in 1945 he took over as Interim Director.
One important legacy he left to the school is the small staircase in the Library leading to the balcony floor. This was built by Alison and a janitor during the Easter vacation in 1946.
He resigned in April 1946 when D P Bliss was appointed as Director.
Henry Young Alison is listed on The School's World War One Roll of Honour. Please contact us if you have any information.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Archival history

Custodial history

Held by Henry Young Alison and passed onto Daisy Anderson upon his death.

Physical Description and Conditions of Use

Conditions governing access

Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections are open for research by appointment. For further details, please refer to our Access Policy @

Conditions governing reproduction

Application for permission to reproduce should be submitted to The Archives and Collections at The Glasgow School of Art.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of material.

For further details, please refer to our Reprographic Service Guide @

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical Description

There are no physical characteristics that affect the use of this material.

Finding aids

Related Material

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

No known copies.

Related materials

This archive compliments other papers created by Henry Young Alison held in the School's archives (see Secretary and Treasurer's correspondence, 1910-1918 and 1927-1943, and DIR 11 - Young's Papers as Interim Director of the Glasgow School of Art).

This collection includes photographs and letters from Alison himself, and also original family records dating from 1805. These were collected by Alison and on his death passed to Daisy Anderson (nee McGlashan - see GSADC 22).

Further information concerning Henry Young Alison may be gained from the GSA's collection of newspaper cuttings available in the search room.

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)


Place access points

People and Organisations

Genre access points


Level of detail

Processing information

  • Fonds level description compiled by Adele Ashley-Smith, Glasgow School of Art Archivist, 2000-2001.
  • Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 19 September 2001.
  • Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 11 June 2002.
  • Fonds level descriptions imported from the Archives Hub 24 August 2006.
  • Catalogue imported into Archon software and edited by Michelle Kaye, Archon Project Officer, May 2014.
  • Catalogue exported from Archon and imported into AtoM during system migration, 2018-2019.


  • English



Archivist's note

Finding Aid Authors: The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections.

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2014 GSA Archives. All rights reserved.

Accession area

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