St Andrews students are one step closer to compiling a catalogue of the burgh records of the town.
The recipients of a unique scholarship programme at the University of St Andrews are pursuing a vital archival project to catalogue the documents which provide an insight into the life of the burgh hundreds of years ago.
Postgraduate History students Adam Marks, Siobhan Talbott, Lesley Welsh and Isla Woodman were each awarded a St Andrews Local History Foundation Bursary worth £2,500 last summer and have been working hard to record thousands of documents.
The scholarships were made possible thanks to a generous bequest by local graduate Catherine Forrest (nee Carstairs) and her husband Alfred, who left their estate principally to establish a trust to support postgraduate students in the Schools of History and History of Art at the university. The couple lived at Burnwynd on the Lade Braes in St Andrews and in her retirement Mrs Forrest had written a book of family and local history ‘Living in St Andrews’, which was published by the University of St Andrews Library.
The burgh records of St Andrews, held by the University’s Special Collections Department, date from Malcolm IV’s reign (1153-1165) through to the 20th century. The collection includes a vast array of documents, from Magistrates and Police Commissioners Minutes through to Poll Tax Assessments and Public Utilities Records.
Although a hard-copy summary guide can be used to access most of the collection, one particular series was almost entirely unlisted and this has been the focus of the students work. The students have made significant progress towards developing a comprehensive, web-accessible list of the complete St Andrews burgh collection and they took the time to present their work to the Trust at a recent meeting. The University is delighted that the Trust has decided to continue to support this work for a further year through making an additional award of £9,500.
Last year’s winner of the Catherine and Alfred Forrest Trust Fine Art Bursary, Natalie Roncone, was also in attendance at the meeting to update the Trust on her progress. Over the past three years, Natalie has received funding of over £20,000 from the Trust to support her research that focuses on the painter Jackson Pollock. Now that Natalie has completed the research aspect of her PhD, the Trust have been able to award Fine Art Bursaries totalling £10,000 to two other postgraduate students in the School of Art History – Ms Michelle Huang and Mr Joseph Hammond.
The meeting was followed by an awards dinner at Rufflets Hotel attended by Adam, Lesley Isla and Natalie, representatives of the University (Professor Ian Carradice, Art History; Professor Roger Mason, History; Dr Norman Reid, University Library; Louise Taylor, Helen Chapman, Development) and representatives of Burnwynd History & Art (Lt Col William Macnair, Professor David Swinfen, Donald Elliot, Philip Garland, Professor Ronald Elder and Dr Lawrence Rolland). Siobhan Talbott was unfortunately unable to attend.
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Ref: Burnwynd Scholarships 06/06/2008
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