Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

26/1/2005

The John Murray Archive

The John Murray Archive, one of the world’s most historically significant literary collections, is coming to Scotland, it was announced today.

And a new Transport Museum is to be developed now that millions of pounds worth of funding has been secured.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to provide £17.7 million to allow the purchase of the Murray archive by the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh. This follows an injection of £8.3 million from the Executive.

And the same Fund is providing £15.9 million for a new Transport Museum in Glasgow to built beside the River Clyde and replace the current premises in the Kelvin Hall.

Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson said:

“The significance of this magnificent news for Scotland cannot be overstated. We are set to secure literature’s jewel in the crown. The John Murray Archive is the most historically significant literary archive to become publicly available in the past hundred years.

“Bringing it to Scotland is an immense achievement and credit to the staff at the National Library of Scotland who made an ambitious and compelling case for securing the archive.

“The Scottish Executive initially pledged £6.5 million followed by a further £1.8 million to galvanize the National Library’s bid. This has provided a base around which they could build further support.

“The acquisition of the John Murray Archive will enhance Scotland’s cultural and educational reputation, both at home and abroad.”

She added:

“I’m also delighted that Glasgow’s ambitious plans for a new Transport Museum have received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This will be a major visitor attraction for the west of Scotland and reflects the breadth and geographical spread of the Fund’s activity in Scotland.”

In order to raise the purchase price of £33 million for the Archive, plus the additional £2 million needed to make it accessible to the public, the National Library of Scotland applied to the Heritage Lottery fund for £17.7 million. It must also raise £6.5 million itself, in addition to the £8.3 million provided by the Scottish Executive.

Established in 1768, the firm of John Murray was one of the greatest and perhaps the most influential of all British publishing houses with an unrivalled list of authors.

The Archive contains over 150,000 letters and manuscripts by Byron, Scott, Darwin, Livingstone, JM Barrie, Wordsworth and countless other figures of global significance. The rich and diverse range of subjects includes archaeology, classical studies, bibliography, history and scholarship, art, architecture, art history and collecting, cookery, gardening, music, theatre and children’s books.

A new Museum of Transport on the Clyde is under development by Glasgow Museums in collaboration with other council departments and Glasgow Harbour Ltd.

The new Museum will be a larger and improved replacement for the Transport Museum currently located at the Kelvin Hall.

It is to be built on a site where the Clyde meets with Glasgow’s other main river, the Kelvin, and will be adjacent to Glasgow Harbour, a private-sector led mixed-use development extending to 120 acres.

The landmark museum will create a more accessible and environmentally stable home for Glasgow’s significant Transport and Technology collections, and for the first time allow the proper interpretation of Glasgow’s important maritime history through the museum site, the ‘Glenlee’ tall ship and our unique ship model collection.

Source-Scottish Executive

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