McManus 168 Group

 The Albert Institute (now the McManus, Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum) was established in 1867 as the first civic museum and art gallery in Dundee. This project is to mark the 150th anniversary of the Gallery and Museum.

 The aim of the project is to collect information on the original 168 subscribers, working with two of Scotland’s most prominent historians Professors Jim Tomlinson and Chris Whatley. Most of the subscribers were not Jute Barons but working people.  The list includes nautical instrument makers, grocers, hecklers, waiters, ship’s chandlers, dyers, bleachers and flax spinners.  We will create a ‘toolkit’ to assist volunteers in getting information on the subscribers. The toolkit will include guidance on sources, a checklist of information sought on each subscriber, and a template to record that information. There will also be training sessions and a supporter for each person who is new to this kind of work.

 Our Project planning group includes the archivists from the city and from the University of Dundee, the former Perth City archivist, the Director of the McManus who is also in charge of libraries, and people like me who have no expertise but lots of enthusiasm!

 The project will be open to all. We aim to recruit at least 30 ‘lead’ researchers throughout 2017 who will have some previous experience of historical research. These lead researchers will mentor 2-3 volunteer researchers who will not have previous experience.  We will work with libraries and archives in Dundee and ensure that those without access to IT in their own homes can take part. We plan to launch the project early in June.

 If you decide to take part you'll be uncovering the hidden history of Dundee and will be learning new skills.  Each volunteer will leave a lasting legacy as the information you collect will be held on a website free and accessible to all. This is about your city and your history!

 For this project all you need is enthusiasm and an interest in the past. We also ask that you live in or near Dundee as the training sessions will be held in the city and our Heritage Lottery application requires us to focus on the involvement of local people.

 If you would like to take part or want to hear more please contact me:

Sue Moody at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Members, various tasks such as website maintenance, membership, bookshop, research, etc. are dealt with by different members of staff who are not in the centre everyday, so when contacting the centre for any reason, be it for website entry passwords, research info, etc, please be patient. Please remember that the centre is run by volunteers in their own time.

Historian 109 eJournal has been uploaded to the website and emailed to those who have requested the electronic version. If you have not received it, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

At the Society’s Annual General Meeting on 17th August, 2016, the change in membership fees and categories proposed in Historian no. 104 was put to the vote and passed by a majority of 24 to 5, (83% to 17%). The subscription year still runs from 1st January to 31st December

New members wishing to enrol for the remainder of 2016 (or former members rejoining), i.e. membership expiring 31st December 2016, pay the following rates

Membership category UK Overseas
Ordinary £17 £19
Family (2 members) £19 £21
Senior Citizen* / Student £16 £18
Institution £20 £21


For 2017, the fees will be

Membership category UK & Overseas
Ordinary £20
Family (2 members) £25
Institution £25


The rates for October to December no longer apply, nor do the prompt renewal rates.
The fees and registration pages will be updated when changes to them have been approved by the Council. Until that happens, the existing registration form is valid.

Members who pay by banker’s order/standing order are asked to change their instructions before the renewal date, usually 30th November. Those who use online banking can usually do it that way. For those who do not, a form can be downloaded -

Gift Aid.

Members who are UK tax payers are reminded that we can reclaim the tax paid on their payment. Page 12 of the June Historian points out that HMRC has insisted on changes to the Gift Aid Declaration. Members who have previously completed a Declaration are asked to do so again, and those UK tax payers who have not done so are respectfully asked to do so now. The new declaration can be downloaded here.

23 August, 2016


A service took place at Birkhill Cemetery on Friday 5th August in memory of Robert (Robbie) Buchan who was killed in action in Vietnam on 11th December 1969. He was born in Dundee, brought up in Perthshire, but emigrated to Australia where he joined the Army. His remains were cremated and the ashes returned to his parents in Scotland. A retired Lieutenant Colonel, Fred Fairhead, who commanded Buchan’s Company, had contacted Tay Valley FHS to try to find out where the ashes lay. With the help of our research team and Dundee Council burial department, he found that the ashes had been interred in his parents’ grave in Birkhill.  

Around 20 people attended the service, conducted by Rev. Robert Calvert of Steeple Church. A colour party was provided by the Angus, Perthshire and Fife Area Royal British Legion Scotland who had learned about the service from an article in The Courier.  Friends of Robbie and his family were also there, along with TVFHS members.

Lt Col Fairhead paid tribute to Jock, as Robbie was known to his Australian mates, and laid a wreath on the grave.



Indicated photos kindly supplied by Alastair McLean, Chairman, Angus, Perthshire and Fife Area, Royal British Legion Scotland

Provided the Editor accepts it, there will be an article about Robbie Buchan in the October Historian.

10 August 2016

The electronic version of the June 2016 Journal has now been circulated and put on the website. Apologies for the delay. Making changes to pages proved to be more difficult than expected, and typos on pages with photographs could not be changed. We expect the next issue to be up to the normal high standard.

30 June, 2016

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McManus 168 Group - Volunteers required to help with this project

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Historian 110, June 2018
Historian 110 eJournal has been uploaded to the website and emailed to those who have requested the electronic version. If you have not received it, please email

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