Subfonds GSAA/SEC - Records of the Secretary and Treasurer


Key Information

Reference code



Records of the Secretary and Treasurer


  • 1853-1996 (Creation)

Level of description



138 linear metres (including uncatalogued material), plus 12 boxes of uncatalogued records management material

Content and Structure

Scope and content

Material in SEC/5 onwards is currently uncatalogued and therefore not accessible for researchers. Includes:

SEC/1: In letters, 1904-1944 In-coming letters on all aspects of the administration of the School. The series includes letters to the Director of the School as well as to the Secretary and Treasurer. The material is organised by year and then by surname.

SEC/2: Copy out letters, 1853-1944 Copies of out-going letters on all aspects of the administration of the School. The series includes letters from the Director of the School, in particular from Charles Heath Wilson, 1853-1855, as well as from the Secretary and Treasurer. The material is organised chronologically.

SEC/3: Letters to The Department of Science and Art and The Scotch Education Department, 1882-1925 Letters from the Secretary and Treasurer to the Department of Science and Art, 1882-1897, and to the Scottish Education Department, 1898-1925 relating to the administration and curriculum of the School.

SEC/4: Letters from The Scotch Education Department, 1900-1925 Letters from the Scotch Education Department to the Secretary and Treasurer relating to the administration and curriculum of the School.

SEC/5: Correspondence and subject files, 1925-1946 Subject files on staff appointments 1928-1946, students on active service 1939-1943, the School materials store 1940-1944, refectory invoices 1942-1943, and correspondence with the Scottish Education Department 1925-1944.

SEC/6: Subject files, c1933-1993 Papers and correspondence relating to all aspects of the administration of the School. Subjects include governors, staff, students, courses, scholarships, finance, bequests, exhibitions, buildings, conferences, the Academic Council and correspondence with the Scottish Education Department.

SEC/7: Subject files, 1944-1984 Papers and correspondence relating to all aspects of the administration of the School. Subjects include governors, staff, students, classes, examinations, scholarships, finance, bequests, exhibitions, buildings.

SEC/8: Income and expenditure accounts, 1899-1955

SEC/9: Estimates of income and expenditure prepared for The Scotch Education Department, 1906-1929 Estimates of income and expenditure and related papers including abstracts of income and expenditure, balance sheets, lists of salaries, lists of bursaries and scholarships, correspondence and reports from bursary holders.

SEC/10: Balance sheets, 1931-1955

SEC/11: Shop accounts, 1897-1926 Profit and loss accounts, 1901-1914: statements of accounts, 1902-1904; ledgers 1897-1926.

SEC/12: Special accounts, 1899-1902 Cash book, 1899-1902; statements of income and expenditure, 1900-1902; receipts, 1900-1902; vouchers, 1899-1900.

SEC/13: Cash books, 1897-1904

SEC/14: Class fees cash books, 1907-1946

SEC/15: Life models cash books, 1919-1934

SEC/16: Invoice books, 1897-1926

SEC/17: Returns book, 1900-1921

SEC/18: Annual subscriptions book, 1900-1935

SEC/19: Salaries books, 1900-1973 Salaries books for general staff, 1900-1969; office staff, 1934-1973; technical assistants, 1958-1969; visiting staff, 1941-1970. There is also an index of staff, 1901-1935.

SEC/20: School fee books, 1902-1935 Details recorded are registered number, name, fees for day classes, afternoon classes and evening classes. SEC/21: Receipt books, 1904-1915

SEC/22: Correspondence on accounts, 1902-1905 Letters from accountants to Edward R. Catterns, Secretary and Treasurer. Includes list of accounts referred to in 1904 audit.

SEC/23: Records relating to Prize Fund, 1896-1935 Financial records, 1896-1903; subscription book, 1900-1935.

SEC/24: Records relating to James Fleming Panel Fund, 1897-1903 In 1897 a proposal was made to mark the zeal and untiring devotion to the service of Glasgow School of Art of James Fleming, chairman of the Board of Governors. Subscriptions were obtained and a marble presentation panel was commissioned from George Frampton, R.A., sculptor. The panel was placed in the entrance hall of the new building of the School and unveiled in 1903. Includes: subscriptions book, 1897-1903; papers and correspondence relating to subscriptions, 1897-1903; receipts, 1898-1902; payment vouchers, 1897-1903.

SEC/25: Records relating to William J Anderson Fund, 1899-1901 This fund was set up for the widow and family of William J. Anderson.

SEC/26: Records relating to War Memorial Fund, 1919 In 1919, two dramatic performances were produced by Miss Dorothy Carleton Smyth in order to raise funds to provide a memorial to the men of the School who fell at the front.

SEC/27: Records relating to John Keppie Scholarships, 1923-1937 In 1923, John Keppie, an architect in Glasgow, endowed two scholarships at Glasgow School of Art, in architecture and sculpture, in order to encourage the arts of architecture and sculpture. The scholarships were worth GBP100 each and were to be awarded in alternate years to the best student of the year. The architecture scholarship was to be spent in the study of architecture in Great Britain, Europe or elsewhere or in the measuring and laying down of some building of outstanding excellence. The sculpture scholarship was to be spent on the study of sculpture in the Schools of London, Paris, Brussels, Italy or elsewhere. Includes: Deed of constitution, 1923; correspondence, 1923; financial records,1923-1937.

SEC/28: Correspondence with Carnegie Trust, 1911-1930 Correspondence on grants by the Carnegie Trust to Glasgow School of Art.

SEC/29: James Brough Memorial Prize, 1929-1936 James Brough of Jamaica Plain left a legacy in 1929 to provide a prize or prizes for the best designs for interior decoration, furniture or decorative composition. Includes: cash book, 1929-1936.

SEC/30: Records relating to Belgium Tryst Fund

SEC/31: Records relating to the Bourdon Memorial

SEC/32: Advert books

SEC/33: Diaries

SEC/34: Article 55 correspondence

SEC/35: Reports to the Scotch Education Departments (SED) Includes, amongst others, a report on GSA by Robert Anning Bell on behalf of the SED, 1903.

SEC/36: Records relating to the Centenary Fund

SEC/37: Correspondence files

SEC/38: Records relating to the appointment of the Director

SEC/39: Visitors' book

SEC/40: Fire fighters' logbook

SEC/41: Illness and accident book

SEC/42: Correspondence from students on active service

SEC/43: Records relating to staffing

SEC/44: Functions book

SEC/45: Refectory cash book and journal, 1935-1981

SEC/46: Prizes, 1890s Contains information on students who have won prizes (including National Competitions) in the 1890s. Alphabetically listed.

SEC/47: Bursaries book, 1911

SEC/48: Materials store cashbook, 1935-1947

SEC/49: Correspondence with Jordanhill, 1943-1969

SEC/50: SMS cashbook, 1947-1955

SEC/51: School notices, 1946 Further unlisted and uncatalogued material includes: correspondence and admin relating to education endowments; gifts to the School; leases of let property; receipt books; copyright and insurance. There is also general department correspondence and working papers of Frank W. Kean (Secretary and Treasurer 1968/69-1992/93). Committee papers held within this department include - Evaluation Committee, Financial Control Committee, Refectory Committee/Refectory Users' Advisory Committee, Students' Material Store Committee.

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 series in the order outlined in the description above. Additional material is awaiting arrangement.

General Information

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Glasgow School of Art has its origins in the Glasgow Government School of Design, which was established on 6 January 1845. The Glasgow Government School of Design was one of twenty similar institutions established in the United Kingdom's manufacturing centres between 1837 and 1851. Set up as a consequence of the evidence given to the House of Commons Select Committee on Arts and their connection with Manufactures of 1835-1836, the Government Schools hoped to improve the quality of the country's product design through a system of education that provided training in design for industry. Somerset House was the first of such schools to be established, opening in 1837, and others followed throughout the provinces.

In 1853 the Glasgow Government School of Design changed its name to the Glasgow School of Art. Following the receipt of some funding from the Haldane Academy Trust, (a trust set up by James Haldane, a Glasgow engraver, in 1833), The Glasgow School of Art was required to incorporate the name of the trust into its title. Consequently, it became the Glasgow School of Art and Haldane Academy, although by 1891 the "Haldane Academy" was dropped from the title. Glasgow School of Art was incorporated in 1892. In 1901 the Glasgow School of Art was designated a Central Institution for Higher Art Education in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

Initially the School was located at 12 Ingram Street, Glasgow, but in 1869, it moved to the Corporation Buildings on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. In 1897 work started on a new building to house the School of Art on Renfrew Street, Glasgow. The building was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, former pupil of The Glasgow School of Art. The first half of the building was completed in 1899 and the second in 1909.

The Government Schools ran courses in elementary drawing, shading from the flat, shading from casts, chiaroscuro painting, colouring, figure drawing from the flat, figure drawing from the round, painting the figure, geometrical drawing, perspective, modelling and design. All these courses were introduced from the start at the Glasgow School apart from that of design. The course in design was the "summit of the system" where students came up with original designs for actual manufactures or decorative purposes and it was not until 1849, when Charles Heath Wilson became headmaster, that classes in design began to be taught. Also in this year Bruce Bell was engaged to teach mechanical and architectural drawing.

After 1853 the above pattern of courses was extended to 26 stages which formed the national curriculum for art schools. This system was known as the South Kensington system. An Art Masters could be awarded by gaining certificates in the available subjects. There was no restriction on entry and students could take as long as they wished to accumulate their passes before being awarded their Art Masters.

In 1901 the Glasgow School of Art was given the power to award its own diplomas. In the same year Art 91D classes for day school teachers commenced which were later known as the Art 55 classes. From 1901 to 1979 the School of Art awarded its own diplomas and thereafter it awarded degrees of the Council for National Academic Awards. In the 1970s the School of Fine Art and the School of Design were established. With the demise of the Council for National Academic Awards, from 1993 Glasgow University awarded the School's degrees in fine art and design.
In 1885 the Glasgow School of Art taught architecture and building construction conforming to the South Kensington system. Following on from the designation of the School as a Central Institution and the empowerment of the School to award its own diplomas, the School and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College worked together to produce a curriculum for a new course leading to a joint diploma.

In 1903 the joint Glasgow School of Architecture was established within the Glasgow School of Art in conjunction with the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. For the new diploma design classes were to be taught at the School of Art and the construction classes at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. The first diplomas in architecture were awarded in 1910.

In 1924 the Glasgow School of Art became a university teaching institution when the University of Glasgow set up a BSc in Architecture which was to be taught at the School of Architecture. In 1964 the Royal College of Science and Technology (formerly the Royal Technical College, formerly the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College) merged with the Scottish College of Commerce to form the new University of Strathclyde. Following the merger the Glasgow School of Architecture came to an end, the last students transferring to Strathclyde degrees and graduating in 1968.

In 1970 the Mackintosh School of Architecture was established. It is housed within the Glasgow School of Art and forms that school's Department of Architecture. Its degrees are accredited by the University of Glasgow and its Head is the University's Professor of Architecture.

The Glasgow Government School of Design was originally managed, as were the other Government Schools, by the Board of Trade and a Committee of Management representing local subscribers. Then, in 1852, the Government Schools of Design were taken over by the Department of Practical Art. This Department was renamed the Department of Science and Art in 1853 and was located in South Kensington, London. The Committee of Management was replaced in 1892 by the Board of Governors. In 1898, control of the School was transferred again, this time to the Scotch Education Department (renamed the Scottish Education Department in 1918).

The School became academically independent in 1901 when it was free to develop its own curriculum and its own diplomas, subject to the approval of the Scottish Education Department. The chief executive of the School was the Headmaster, renamed Director in 1901, and a Secretary and Treasurer was responsible for all aspects of the administration of the School. As the School grew, other administrative posts were added.

Archival history

The post of Secretary and Treasurer was established in 1873 with the appointment of Edward R Catterns. The post took over some of the duties of the school janitor namely looking after correspondence, keeping the student registers and other similar work. The Secretary and Treasurer was also responsible for all aspects of the administration of the school, including financial, personnel, legal, estates and student matters. The Secretary and Treasurer also acted as the secretary to the Board of Governors. As the School developed and the workload of the Secretary and Treasurer increased, new posts were created to relieve him of some of his duties. In 1943, the post of Assistant Registrar was created to relieve him of those of his duties relating to arranging the admission, matriculation and graduation of students. In 1975 the post of Assistant Secretary (Finance) was created to deal with financial matters and at around this time the post of Personnel Officer was created to deal with personnel matters. In 1993, the then Secretary and Treasurer retired and the office of Secretary and Treasurer was replaced by the office of Assistant Director (Resources), which inherited the legal duties of the Secretary and Treasurer.

Custodial history

Physical Description and Conditions of Use

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Most records which are over 30 years old are available for public consultation. Records which are less than 30 years old can be accessed with the permission of the head of the relevant department of the school.

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A series of general ledgers 1870-1993 and a series of general cash books 1870-1993 are listed under the records of the Finance Officer (Ref: GSAA/FIN). Both series were created by the Secretary and Treasurer and continued by the Finance Officer on the creation of the post in 1975. Records relating to the admission, matriculation and graduation of students are listed under the records of the Registrar (Ref: GSAA/REG). These were series created by the Secretary and Treasurer and continued by the Registrar on the creation of the post in 1943. See also GSAA/CSE, Records of the Assistant Director and Company Secretary.

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