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The Waggle o' the Kilt: Popular theatre and entertainment in Scotland
by Karen Marshalsay

A companion to an exhibition drawn from the Scottish Theatre Archive and featuring the Jimmy Logan Collection, held in the Upper Hall, Hunterian Museum, 7th December 1992 - 20th February 1993


 


 

Exhibition sponsored by the University of Glasgow and the N.S. Macfarlane Charitable Trust. This companion volume sponsored by The Commonweal Fund of the Glasgow Trades House

Glasgow University Library 1992
FOREWORD
The Jimmy Logan Collection

In 1966, the home of Sir Harry Lauder and its contents were put up for auction, and I bought what I could, in order to keep together the relics of one of Scotland's greatest artists.

In the years that followed, the Collection grew and grew. With the help of a group of Glasgow Scouts, I added a beautiful book presented to Sir Harry in South Africa and found in a Jumble Sale. There was a photograph taken in Australia in 1914, when Lauder was paid £1000 a week-a fortune in those days! From London, and even from New York, came letters and theatre bills. Strathclyde and Tayside Postcard Club opened up a new world, tracing the history of the seaside concert party. Programmes, relics of the great days of Howard and Wyndham, of pantomime and of the "Five Past Eight": all went to swell the Collection. Concerned Scots wrote from all over the world to tell me of items of interest which they possessed, and which they wanted to be preserved for Scotland.

I was anxious that the Collection should be preserved and made available to students and lovers of the Music Hall. So it gave me great pleasure when in 1990, with the help of the N.S. Macfarlane Charitable Trust, I was able to present the Collection to the Scottish Theatre Archive at Glasgow University Library.

I like to think of the Collection as a part of the past, which remains a fascination in the present and a rich source of pleasure for the future. As this exhibition shows, it is something to build on. I hope it brings you pleasure.


The Scottish Theatre Archive, by Elizabeth Watson

The Scottish Theatre Archive forms part of the Department of Special Collections of Glasgow University Library. Its role is to help preserve Scotland's theatrical heritage by providing a safe home for archival material and by making it accessible to all those interested in Scottish theatre.

The Archive was founded in 1981 with funding from the Scottish Arts Council which enabled the appointment of a researcher. Further money was provided by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Scottish International Education Trust. Since1985, however, the University Library alone has been responsible for its funding and staffing.

Since 1981 the Archive has grown enormously, and continues to expand rapidly. As well as providing a resource for undergraduate and postgraduate study at the University, it is an invaluable research tool and reference centre for scholars, students, theatrical practitioners and members of the public from all parts of the world. Use of the Archive is free of charge.

The Archive's coverage of Scottish theatre is very broad, including both traditional and contemporary aspects, both serious and popular. Among the largest of the collections are the archives of the Citizens' Theatre and Scottish Ballet, the BBC Radio Scotland script collection, and of course the Jimmy Logan collection of music-hall material which forms the basis of the present exhibition. Other collections include material relating to the Scottish Repertory Theatre, Scottish National Players, Glasgow Jewish Institute Players, Glasgow Unity, Molly Urquhart and her theatre, the Scottish Theatre Company, and the Dundee Repertory Theatre.

The contents of the different collections vary, but in general include programmes, scripts, production notes, photographs, posters, and presscuttings. Some of the collections also include business papers and correspondence.

The Archive has extensive holdings of playscripts, totalling over 4,000 titles. As well as scripts relating to productions by companies for which there are major holdings, and large collections of published play texts, there are several separate script collections, including those of John Cairney, Michael Elder, Robert Kemp, and the Scottish Society of Playwrights.

The Archive continues to acquire new material, both to fill gaps in existing holdings and to cover areas as yet not well represented.

The Archive has provided material for numerous exhibitions, including See Glasgow, SeeTheatre, part of the Archive's contribution to Glasgow's year as Cultural Capital of Europe. It also publishes an annual Newsletter, giving information on new acquisitions, courses, and exhibitions.

We should like to thank all those who have made so many generous donations over the years, and hope that people will continue to feel that the Scottish Theatre Archive is a suitable home for their theatre memorabilia.


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