Monday, September 21, 2009
Carpet Manufacture in Scotland
The Stoddard Design Library is a unique collection of over 500 volumes acquired by the GSA Library in 2009. The volumes all come from the design library of James Templeton and Co. (later incorporated into Stoddard International), an internationally important firm of carpet designers and manufacturers that supplied carpets for the Titanic, several large country houses, Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, and many other large commissions. Based in an architectural landmark on Glasgow Green (based on the Doge’s Palace in Venice), by 1950 the firm was Glasgow’s largest employer with 7,000 employees.
The design library was used by the firm’s designers as a source of inspiration or motifs for carpets, with particular strengths in modernist, Art Nouveau and Japanese ornament. Subjects cover a wide range, from costume to ornament, and from interiors to textiles. The collection was acquired as part of a consortium with the firm’s business records and carpets now residing at the University of Glasgow Archives and Glasgow Museums respectively. Funded came from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the National Fund for Acquisitions, Friends of the National Libraries, Glasgow Museums Acquisitions Fund, Friends of Glasgow Museums, and others.
GSA Library is currently following a project plan to assess, sort and catalogue the collection for public access. Some volumes have already been catalogued, with records available through the main library catalogue. The full hand list on the collection is available below. Access is available to anyone with a genuine research interest, but please note that access is strictly by prior appointment only via our Academic Liaison Librarians.
In the meantime, the BBC has produced a useful beginners' guide to carpet manufacture in Scotland, with many Stoddard and Templeton images and interviews with former staff.