Item DC 100/4 - Photocopied reference letter

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Reference code

DC 100/4


Photocopied reference letter


  • 1937 (Creation)

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1 item

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Scope and content

Photocopied reference letter for Sidney Wesley Birnage by Colin Sinclair. Letterhead is H. & D. Barclay Architects. Letter recommends Birnage for the Associate Royal Institute for British Architects (ARIBA) and describes his character and experience.

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Hugh Barclay (1828–1892) and David Barclay Fellow of the Royal Institute for British Architects (F.R.I.B.A.) (1846–1917) were Scottish architects and brothers who operated an architecture firm in the late 19th and early 20th centuries under the name of H. & D. Barclay Architects. The business’ specialy was in the design of schools and colleges but they also did considerable municipal and church work. At the start of their career, they established a strong reputation with their work but this work was not sustained as in the mid-1860s, they were lacking in commission work. They received various high-status commissions in the 1870s and 1880s which helped them get through the recession of the latter period. During this period, David had been arrested and acquitted of a culpable homicide after a collapse of a playshed in 1882. The business had won awards and competitions for their work. They seemed to utilize various kinds of styles in their work such as neo-classical, neo-Greek, Italian palazzo, and more. Hugh Barclay died on November 25, 1892. After his brother had died, David went on to expand and got commissions of larger proportions which were variable in quality. He was also more active in public life than Hugh. David died on July 13, 1917, leaving an estate of £3,480 13s 10d. He was survived by a son, also an architect, who emigrated to Canada, and three daughters. The practice was continued under the same name until 1942 by Dr Colin Sinclair (1879-1957).

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

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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.

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White paper with black ink

Dimensions: 297 x 210 mm

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Catalogued by Ella Grad-Arndt, work placement, Mar 2023


  • English



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

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