Collection GM - The Grace Melvin Textile Collection, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland

Sleeveless bodice (Version 1) Sleeveless bodice (Version 3) Bag (Version 1) Bag (Version 2) Bag (Version 3) Child's Dress (Version 1) Child's Dress (Version 2) Needlecase (Version 1) Needlecase (Version 2) Child's Dress (Version 1) Child's Dress (Version 2) Collar Yoke (Version 1) Collar Yoke (Version 2) Drawstring Bag (Version 1) Drawstring Bag (Version 2) Drawstring Bag (Version 3) Lap Bag (Version 1) Lap Bag (Version 2) Collar (Version 1) Collar (Version 2) Collar (Version 3) Collar (Version 4) Collar (Version 5) Collar (Version 6) Collar (Version 7) Collar (Version 8) Bag (Version 1) Bag (Version 2) Baby's Coat (Version 1) Baby's Coat (Version 2) Baby's Coat (Version 3) Bonnet (Version 1) Bonnet (Version 2) Bonnet (Version 3) Mat (Version 1) Mat (Version 2) Mat (Version 1) Mat (Version 2)

Key Information

Reference code



The Grace Melvin Textile Collection, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland


  • c1918 (Creation)

Level of description



14 Items

Content and Structure

Scope and content

14 textile items, thought to have been designed as part of Grace Melvin's diploma show c1918.

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 in the order in which it was deposited.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Grace Melvin (1892-1977) born in Glasgow, Scotland on May 28, 1892, studied at the Glasgow School of Art between 1907-1918. As a day pupil she studied Drawing and Painting, Design and attended Life classes. She studied embroidery under Ann Macbeth (1875-1948).
Melvin was later to become a member of staff at GSA, between 1920/1-1928/9. During this time her roles included the teaching of: lettering and illumination (Design and Decorative Art), 1920/21; lettering and illumination (Pictorial Design and methods of production), 1926/27; and the history of lettering and illumination, 1926/27.
Whilst in London, Melvin discovered the collection of ancient books and manuscripts, lettered and illuminated on vellum housed at the library of the British Museum. She received special permission to make copies of some of the works, and this art form became her passion for many years. At this time, whilst teaching at GSA, she was a scribe for the Corporation of Glasgow, and made many illuminated addresses for prominent people.
After seven years on the staff of the Glasgow School of Art, Melvin was given a two year leave of absence to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia to help organize the Design section of the new School of Art. She resigned from the Glasgow School and remained with the Vancouver School of Art until her retirement, as Head of the Department of Design, in 1952, after which time she became a full time painter. Grace Melvin's Basic Lettering for Art Students was published in 1927 in London and is still used. She has also illustrated and written books on lettering and design for the Department of Education of British Columbia. Later, she was commissioned to make The Books of Remembrance for the Canadian Engineers, which can be seen in St. Pauls Cathedral, London. Melvin illustrated several books for Marius Barbeau, travelling with him to Alaska to get authentic information and an intimate view of the West Coast Native Americans and their legends. Grace Melvin died on 8th March 1977.

Archival history

Custodial history

The items remained in the care of Grace Melvin and it is believed that she took them to Canada upon her emigration. They were then deposited at the Glasgow School of Art sometime in the 1980s.

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

There are no related units of description.

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 David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 12 November 2001
  • Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 14 May 2002
  • Fonds level description imported from the Archives Hub 25 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.

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