PICTURE SPECIAL: Festive historic shopping archive set to go online
By Kirsty Topping
ARCHIVE images from a top department store will be revealed to the public for the first time.
Researchers at the Universityof Glasgow have searched the country and compiled more than 10,000 images from House of Fraser catalogues, dating back to the 19th century.
A new online archive will go live on Christmas Day.
The launch of the online catalogue is the culmination of over five years of work to catalogue each record in the House of Fraser Archive, which was given to the University to manage in 1979.
University of Glasgow assistant archivist Clare Paterson, said: “We’re very pleased to be putting the catalogue online. Now, it will be much easier for people to discover what we hold within the House of Fraser Archive.
“It is such a fantastic resource, so we are sure there will be something of interest to a wide range of people; whether it is your ancestor who worked in or shopped at one of the stores, if you are interested in the development of the town where Frasers had a store, or if you simply love old fashions, there are records in the Archive for you.
“We trailed the launch of the archive with an online advent calendar which offered a different image from the collection every day until the 25th December. It’s been very popular and we’re sure the Archive itself will be a major attraction for anyone with an interest in fashion, marketing, and the social history of Scotland.”
Images of selected items from the Archive are included in the online catalogue including window displays, product catalogues and photographs of the stores and their staff. These include photographs of the central hall in the Buchanan Streetstore decorated for Christmas and Christmas catalogues for Dallas’s and McDonalds, both based inGlasgow.
Gary Slattery, general manager at Frasers inGlasgow, said: “With an impressive 162-year history there are many stories, images and more that we haven’t been able to share with loyal Frasers customers.
“So, we’re delighted the archive services at the University of Glasgow are able to share the store’s history with people all over the world, thanks to the launch of their new online catalogue for the House of Fraser archive project.”
In addition to hundreds of items from the iconic department store on Glasgow’sBuchanan Street, the Archive also includes pieces from other retail outlets owned by the business over the years including Arnott & Co Ltd, Robert Simpson & Sons Ltd, Dalys, Stewart & McDonald, Dallas’s Colosseum Ltd and Wylie & Lochhead.
The University of Glasgow’s work to create the online archive was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
The archive will be available to browse from Sunday 25 December.
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