There was a fire in the west wing of the Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on the 23rd May 2014, which unfortunately affected Glasgow School of Art's archives and collections.
Since this date, staff have been working to assess and stabilise affected material. The majority of our paper archives and artworks on paper (including 100 works by Charles Rennie Mackintosh) were unharmed by the fire. A small percentage of the archives suffered water damage but these items have either been air dried or frozen and are now stabilised. Our textile collections suffered water damage but have now been air dried and stabilised and our plaster casts have suffered smoke damage and some water damage.
Sadly some items from the School's Archives and Collections were lost. Items from our Mackintosh furniture collection which were in use in the Mackintosh Library or held in the store above this space were either destroyed or very badly damaged by the fire. Fragments of furniture and fittings are already being recovered from the Mackintosh Library as part of the forensic archaeology work currently underway.
Many of our most important pieces were on display in the Furniture Gallery and Mackintosh Room in the east wing of the building and were therefore unaffected by the fire. In January 2015 some of these pieces were brought out of storage and returned to public view in a new furniture gallery in the School's Reid Building. The public will be able to visit this gallery as part of an organised tour led by one of the GSA's student guides.
Almost all the oil paintings on canvas in the School's collection were stored above the Library and were therefore also sadly destroyed. All of the surviving material is now stable and secure and will be reviewed by expert conservators as part of a recovery programme which will take place over the next three years.
We will continue to update users on our recovery.
We have decided to include descriptions and images of material lost in the fire on our online catalogue. Although the items no longer exist, their descriptions still provide useful contextual information for researchers, such as titles, dates, custodial histories, related material etc. The images are also a useful resource, providing vital surrogates for users.