- 1881-1886 (Creation)
Level of description
Content and Structure
Scope and content
- correspondence sent by Thomas Simmonds, July - December 1885
- correspondence received by Thomas Simmonds July - December 1885
- correspondence from Glasgow School of Art to the Derby School of Art, September - October 1885
- correspondence from the Derby School of Art to Glasgow School of Art, October 1885
- Mr. Simmonds' cash book, 1881-1885.
All the correspondence listed here occurred after Simmonds left the Glasgow School of Art. The major correspondent is the School Secretary, Edward Catterns, and all the letters from him to Simmonds are the draft or copy letters kept by the school office. Other correspondence includes the letters between Catterns and the Derby School of Art regarding the situation with Simmonds.
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 chronologically.
Name of creator
Thomas Simmonds, 1842-1912, had been a teacher of Science and Art subjects at Derby School of Art, before taking over from Robert Greenlees as Headmaster at Glasgow School of Art in 1881. He seems to have been on the staff at Cheltenham School of Art early in his career, and may also have spent time teaching at the Birmingham Schools. Simmonds was very businesslike and his career suggests he was a good Headmaster in a managerial sense. Whilst at Glasgow School of Art he was instrumental in convincing the governors of the need for a new building, and regularly complained to the committee of management about the conditions that the students had to work under. He also attempted, unsuccessfully, to promote links between Glasgow School of Art and the Woollen College, a small independent textiles college. In 1885, he returned to Derby School of Art to take up the position of Headmaster. He had arranged to take up this position by April 1885, leaving Glasgow School of Art in May 1885, but his contract was not supposed to end until August 1885. This, plus the attempts by Simmonds to claim all monies he saw as due to him from student successes at the Science and Art examinations in South Kensington, led to an embittered correspondence between himself and the School. The letters that survive from this period illustrate the problems and financial fragility of the position of the headmaster of a provincial School of Design.
Physical Description and Conditions of Use
Conditions governing access
Directors' papers which are over 30 years old are available for public consultation. Permission from the director is needed for access to those less than 30 years old.