Memorials of the Old College of Glasgow.

Glasgow, T. Annan Photographer; J. Maclehose, Publisher and Bookseller to the University, 1871

Folio, pp. [4], 124 [5] with 41 albumen prints, each approx. 9 x 7 inches (22.9 x 17.8 cm.), titled or with facsimile signatures of sitters on mounts (very occasional foxing rarely affecting plates); original morocco-backed cloth, gilt (rubbed at corners), gilt titling to upper cover and spine, all edges gilt.


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A very good copy illustrated with albumen rather than carbon prints.

The Introductory Note explains: ‘On 28th July, 1870, the Senate of the University of Glasgow met for the last time in the Old College Buildings, situated in Blackfriars, High Street, to perform that which is the most distinctive function of a University – the conferring of Degrees. On that site the work of the University had been carried on for upwards of four hundred and fifty years. It seemed desirable to secure some permanent Memorial of the venerable structure before it underwent any change. The views shown in the accompanying Photographs have been selected as embracing all the more interesting parts of the Buildings. The Publishers, conceiving it to be appropriate to include in the Memorial the Principal and Professors who formed the Senate at the time of the removal to the New Buildings, obtained their consent to sit for their portraits; and they are happy in being able to make these a part of the work’.

Better known for his architectural photographs, published in The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, Annan was nevertheless a fine portrait photographer, who had been a close friend of David Octavius Hill. ‘When Hill died in 1870, Amelia Hill gave Annan a large collection of calotypes and the portrait lens used by Hill and Adamson’. (Stevenson, Thomas Annan 1829–1887, National Galleries Scotland, 1990, p. 8). She adds 'The portraits in this publication [Memorials of the Old College…] are all in the same proportion as Hill and Adamson’s portraits, and it is tempting to speculate that in taking these pictures Annan used the portrait lens given to him by Mrs. Hill (p. 13).

This work by Annan was published with the same photographs printed in either the albumen or carbon process and is more commonly found with carbon prints.

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