McManus 168 Group
The Albert Institute (now the McManus, Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum) was established in 1867 as the first civic museum and art gallery in Dundee. This project is to mark the 150th anniversary of the Gallery and Museum.
The aim of the project is to collect information on the original 168 subscribers, working with two of Scotland’s most prominent historians Professors Jim Tomlinson and Chris Whatley. Most of the subscribers were not Jute Barons but working people. The list includes nautical instrument makers, grocers, hecklers, waiters, ship’s chandlers, dyers, bleachers and flax spinners. We will create a ‘toolkit’ to assist volunteers in getting information on the subscribers. The toolkit will include guidance on sources, a checklist of information sought on each subscriber, and a template to record that information. There will also be training sessions and a supporter for each person who is new to this kind of work.
Our Project planning group includes the archivists from the city and from the University of Dundee, the former Perth City archivist, the Director of the McManus who is also in charge of libraries, and people like me who have no expertise but lots of enthusiasm!
The project will be open to all. We aim to recruit at least 30 ‘lead’ researchers throughout 2017 who will have some previous experience of historical research. These lead researchers will mentor 2-3 volunteer researchers who will not have previous experience. We will work with libraries and archives in Dundee and ensure that those without access to IT in their own homes can take part. We plan to launch the project early in June.
If you decide to take part you'll be uncovering the hidden history of Dundee and will be learning new skills. Each volunteer will leave a lasting legacy as the information you collect will be held on a website free and accessible to all. This is about your city and your history!
For this project all you need is enthusiasm and an interest in the past. We also ask that you live in or near Dundee as the training sessions will be held in the city and our Heritage Lottery application requires us to focus on the involvement of local people.
If you would like to take part or want to hear more please contact me: