Series NDS/COR - Correspondence of the Needlework Development Scheme in Scotland

Key Information

Reference code

NDS/COR

Title

Correspondence of the Needlework Development Scheme in Scotland

Date(s)

  • 1934-1966 (Creation)

Level of description

Series

Extent

7 files

Content and Structure

Scope and content

The correspondence within the collection relates to the establishment and management of the Needlework Development in Scotland scheme than ran from 1934 until 1939 when the 1939-1945 World War lead to its suspension. It was re-established as the Needlework Development Scheme in 1945. Subjects covered within the correspondence include management issues; acquisition of needlework samples; finance; correspondence with J & P Coats Ltd who funded the scheme; minutes of meetings; aims and objectives of the scheme; exhibitions; loans of examples.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

This material has been appraised in line with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures.

Accruals

System of arrangement

The correspondence is arranged into files by year

General Information

Name of creator

(1934-1961)

Administrative history

The Needlework Development Scheme (NDS) was a collaborative project between art and design education and industry. Originally established in Scotland in 1934, its aim was to encourage embroidery and to raise the standard of design in Britain. Financed by J and P Coats, the thread manufacturers, the Scheme was organised by the four Scottish art schools, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Its collection of foreign and British embroidery was available to domestic science and training colleges, women's institutions and schools, as well as art schools. By 1939, the Scheme had acquired some 900 embroideries but the outbreak of WWII closed the Scheme and the collection was retained by the four original art schools. Glasgow School of Art was instrumental in re-starting the Scheme late in 1944. Its aims were the same as its predecessor, but expanded its remit to include other arts schools in the United Kingdom where embroidery was taught.In the years following the WWII, the Scheme became centralised and staffed with a qualified embroidery expert, a secretary and several practitioners. The Scheme commissioned the British designer Mary Kessell to prepare designs to be interpreted by embroidery artists in Britain, as the best needlework examples in the collection were foreign. The result was a touring exhibition of work by the Bromley College in London. The scheme was disbanded in 1961 when funding was withdrawn, although it was recognised that the NDS had achieved its aims. The NDS had amassed 3000 textile items by this time, which were divided and distributed around universities, art schools, organisations and museums including the National Museum of Scotland, the Embroideries Guild and the V&A.

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Administrative Information

Description identifier

GB 1694 NDS/COR

Institution identifier

GB 1694

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description - Second edition

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