Lecture series at the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre 2015-16

The Scottish Jewish Archives Centre is happy to announce a new series of lecture events to be held over the next 12 months, with guest speakers from Glasgow that have reached the top in their field after they left the city.

These lectures form part of a programme of fundraising events planned by a new team of volunteers working with the Archives Committee to raise additional funds. This will help support the increasing demands and workload of the Archives in recording, storing and cataloguing the history of Scottish Jews and Jewish organisations. In addition extra funds will allow researchers and students and members of the public searching for their family stories to access the Archives.

The first of these lectures events will feature Steve Morrison who will speak about growing up in Glasgow, his career and life after he left home.

The date and venue will be 1st November in the Windsor Suite at Eastwood House Giffnock, Glasgow.

Steve Morrison graduated from Edinburgh University in 1969. His media career began as a radio producer with BBC Scotland. In 1974 he joined Granada Film and subsequently held a number of senior positions, becoming Chief Executive in 2001. Steve is the co-founder, former Chair and Chief Executive of All3Media .

He is the current Rector of Edinburgh University.

Steve may be better known in Glasgow as the middle son of the late Michael and Betty Morrison and brother of Ian who ran Michael Morrison’s Deli in Sinclair Drive for many years.

Please join us to hear Steve at this first event on Sunday 1st November at Eastwood House. Doors open at 11am for an 11.30am start; tickets can be obtained from Jane Tobias at 07968 581613, email: jane@janetobias.com or from the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre at 0141-332 4911 email: info@sjac.org.uk. Tickets are £17.50 with reduced rate for Friends of the Archives and full time students (£15); this will include a bagel brunch.

The location has limited capacity so the community is requested to purchase their tickets early to reserve their places.

Planned future speakers for the New Year include Lady Hazel Cosgrove and Lord Ian Livingston; more information will be announced at the first event on 1st November 2015.

Project start

Our project started on Tuesday this week and we spent a few hours as a team of researchers and then with our project partners the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre (SJAC) to hash out a plan for the next couple of months.

Our first task is to scope out the SJAC, identify the materials relevant to our project and assess how to digitise these. To assist with this task we are drawing on the expertise of the SJAC’s team of volunteers, staff working in digital humanities at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and, most prominently, our newly appointed Research Associate, Dr Deborah Butcher.

Deborah joins the team with a PhD from London Metropolitan University combining oral history with extensive archival research. She also has a professional background in public and academic librarianship, has worked for within local government in a range of roles, most recently as a Cultural Coordinator for South Lanarkshire council. This unique skillset is vital for the success of our project and we are excited to have Deborah on board.

As we begin a project looking into past migration to Scotland, I am mindful of the current situation faced by migrants seeking access to Europe. It is barely 100 years since the large-scale Jewish migration from poverty, oppression and persecution in Eastern Europe and the arrival of refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe that we are witnessing the plight of millions fleeing desperate situations. We are keen to investigate the impact of migration and flight on those who came to Scotland and on Scottish society since the end of the nineteenth century. We are interested in the details of people’s lives, of their culture, their religion, their values and their contributions to humanity. We are grateful that so much material has been collected and archived to allow us insight into their journeys. It is ironic that this project begins amidst a flow of political pronouncements which appear all too often to forget that the current migrants are people, human beings, with lives just as valuable and in need of protection as those of Europe’s citizens whose families came here a century or more ago.

As we go along our work in the SJAC and as the project develops we will share our progress and exciting finds on this blog. So, please tune in and subscribe to email alerts!