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Laurie Flynn papers on the asbestos industry

  • GB 249 FLYNN
  • Collection
  • 1893 - 2005

Laurie Flynn's papers on the asbestos industry span the period 1893-2005 and contain information primarily on the occupational health hazards posed by asbestos. This interest is centred on the activities of Cape Asbestos Company Ltd (and all corresponding names including shell entities) as well as the company's overseas subsidiaries.

There are 4 main series:

  • mining in South Africa, 1938-2005
  • asbestos litigation in North America, 1934-2005
  • asbestos in the UK, 1953-2005
  • Cape Asbestos corporate papers, 1893-2000

The focus of the collection is on employer negligence concerning health and safety, as argued in compensation lawsuits brought against the company and its subsidiaries.

Access to the wealth of business and legal papers brought to light primarily through lawsuits led Flynn to question whether multinational enterprises are as progressive as some commentators (notably business historians) have made out. The depositions, affidavits and court exhibits contained in this collection illuminate the role played by corporations and their representatives (in particular company medics and corporate lawyers) in suppressing scientific evidence concerning the risks of asbestos exposure. The Flynn papers also illustrate the lengths to which Cape Asbestos’ legal advisers went to create complex and confusing company structures in order to distance the parent company from liability ("corporate veil").

The collection includes some of Flynn’s notebooks and other background research materials for journalistic projects (among them extensive interviews with South African miners and Glasgow laggers), scripts and transcripts for documentaries, press cuttings, scientific literature, and correspondence with health and safety experts, medical specialists, environmental consultants, tort lawyers and asbestos ban campaigners.

In addition to documenting Flynn’s sustained interest in the workings of multinational asbestos enterprise, the collection also includes a little material relating to gold and diamond mining and the medical impact of atomic testing.

Flynn, Vincent Laurie Macpherson, investigative journalist

University of Strathclyde Department of Physics records

  • GB 249 OF/1
  • Collection
  • 1862-2003

Records relating to the teaching of physics at the University of Strathclyde and the Royal College of Science and Technology, the Royal Technical College, the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College and Anderson's College (the antecedents of the University of Strathclyde).

University of Strathclyde | Department of Physics

Occupational and Environmental Diseases Assocation case files

  • GB 249 OEDA CF
  • Series
  • c. 1970 - c. 2007

Ten separate series of individual case files and one series of radiographs resulting from the Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association's advocacy for better compensation payments for sufferers of asbestos-related diseases.

The case files comprise correspondence, medical notes and the results of the Association's own groundbreaking electron microscope testing.

Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association

University of Strathclyde student record cards

  • GB 249 OS/59
  • Series
  • 1964 - 1990s

Details recorded are student's name, date of birth, session, year of course and course of study.

University of Strathclyde | Academic Registrar

Mary Dawson papers

  • GB 249 OM/446
  • Collection
  • c. 1940s - 1990s

Various papers from the life and career of Mary Dawson covering her student life, lecturing, research, and professional awards. Includes:

  • student notebooks from Dawson's studies at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow
  • lecture notes and papers used for her teaching at the Royal Technical College, later the University of Strathclyde
  • reprints of her own and other pharmacy articles
  • research notes and data
  • conference papers and programmes
  • illustrations and captions for scientific posters
  • material relating to articles and publications by Dawson
  • index of scientific papers about tissue culture
  • slide transparencies for publications and lectures
  • papers about Dawson's film 'In Your Hands, Tissue Culture Techniques'
  • film reels
  • meeting notes and papers relating to pharmaceutical professional bodies and groups
  • papers and correspondence relating to awards won by Dawson such as the Pharmaceutical Society’s Charter Silver Medal and the Marschig Animal Welfare Trust Prize

Dawson, Mary, 1922-1995, pharmacist and university lecturer

Alan Dalton papers

  • GB 249 DAL
  • Collection
  • 1899 - 2003

Correspondence and papers from most of Dalton's career. The collection includes:

  • papers on Dalton's career and the libel cases brought against him
  • correspondence and papers originating from Dalton's roles at the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science, the Transport and General Workers' Union, the Environment Agency and others
  • correspondence with fellow activists, occupational health experts, academics, doctors, solicitors, politicians, trade unionists, campaign groups, asbestos victim support groups and others
  • subject files on environmental and occupational health issues, particularly asbestos
  • publications by Dalton and letters to the press
  • consultancy and expert witness work
  • notes and papers from conferences and meetings
  • correspondence and papers relating to Dalton's involvement in the production of television and radio programmes on asbestos, together with a series of video recordings and transcripts of documentaries and other programmes collected by Dalton on asbestos and other environmental and occupational health and safety topics.
  • press cuttings on asbestos and other environmental and occupational health issues
  • Dalton's library of books, academic papers, reports and other publications on asbestos and other environmental and occupational health issues

Dalton, Alan James Patrick, 1946-2003, safety and environmental campaigner

William Baird & Company Ltd records

  • GB 249 T-BA
  • Collection
  • 1830s - 1969

Land and property records; legal documents; maps and plans; day books; financial records; production and sales records; staff time books; transport records; correspondence. Most of the records relate to the company's Gartsherrie Works.

William Baird & Company, iron and coal masters

Oral history project exploring the impact of asbestos in Glasgow

  • GB 249 SOHC 38
  • Collection
  • 2019

Ongoing oral history project being carried out by Stellar Quines, a Scottish theatre company.

In the autumn of 2019, Stellar Quines created and toured 'Fibres', a play by Frances Poet about the impact of the shipyards and asbestos on a Glasgow family. It was inspired by a true story and mirrored hundreds of similar stories in Glasgow and the rest of the UK. In addition to producing the play, the company collaborated with Clydeside Action on Asbestos, one of Glasgow’s primary support services for those impacted by asbestos, to undertake an oral history project to gather some of those Glasgow stories .

The interviewer is Rosie Priest, Creative Learning Associate, Stellar Quines.

Stellar Quines

Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow lectures

  • GB 249 RPSG
  • Collection
  • 2017 - 2020

Digital recordings of lectures, plus abstracts of lectures and biographies of speakers, from the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow's 216th, 217th and 218th lecture series.

Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow

'Glasgow Herald' Clyde Shipbuilding collection

  • GB 249 MS 5
  • Collection
  • 1950s - 1970s

This was a working collection built up by George Outram & Co for journalists at The Glasgow Herald, and formed the basis for trade supplements published by George Outram & Co from the 1950s to the 1970s. It comprises press cuttings; press releases; company literature and statistics; and photographs on various aspects of shipbuilding with particular emphasis on the Clyde Shipbuilding industry.

George Outram & Co Ltd

Interview with Phyllis Craig, Chair of Clydeside Action on Asbestos

  • GB 249 SOHC 35
  • File
  • 28 January 2018

Recording of Arthur McIvor in conversation with Phyllis Craig, Chair of Clydeside Action on Asbestos, 28 January 2018. Phyllis Craig describes her work at the charity where she started on 2 October 1995.

[00:00] Introductions.
[00:25] Summarises main life events.
[01:14] Describes voluntary work at Castlemilk law centre and the poverty she observed.
[01:43] Describes starting work at Clydeside Action on Asbestos.
[02.44] Discusses the occupations of her parents and her relationship with them.
[05:10] Describes roles at Clydeside Action on Asbestos.
[06:04] Tells story of a particular appeal and the treatment of a client.
[07:28] Returns to description of activity of Clydeside Action on Asbestos.
[07:53] Mentions the case of ‘Fairchild, Matthew and Fox’ and describes other asbestosis cases.
[10:58] Describes the wide variety of other Clydeside Action on Asbestos activities, such as fundraising and communications.
[11:56] Describes how the job has changed over the years.
[13:17] Describes how the resources and funding have improved since the early years of the charity.
[13:54] Describes the psychological effects of a mesothelioma diagnosis.
[16:12] Describes the experiences of those living with mesothelioma.
[18:59] Describes the physical and mental effects of mesothelioma.
[20:20] Talks about the limitations of new government disability legislation and its relation to the mental health of sufferers.
[22:15] Mentions the economic schemes that were available to help sufferers and remarks upon the likely negative effects of recent government legislation.
[23:06] Describes the rise of diagnoses of mesothelioma in women, explores the reasons, and talks about the different experiences of the disease for men and women.
[25:45] Describes the difficulties of competing with other charities for funding for example charities that work with victims of post-traumatic stress.
[27:07] Tells the story of a particular mesothelioma case pertaining to a male client who was a Glasgow joiner.
[30:11] Tells the story of two mesothelioma cases pertaining to women, one client from Falkirk who struggled to get a diagnosis and a former GP who works in the charity office. Phyllis comments on the different reactions of men and women to a diagnosis of mesothelioma.
[32:46] States that mesothelioma is still incurable and describes the general life expectancy of sufferers.
[34:47] Describes the dramatic changes in medical interest and treatments for mesothelioma since 1995. Also discusses surgery and the importance of palliative care.
[38:55] Describes the differences between Scotland and England in terms of legislation and compensation. Also describes the tenacity required to campaign for justice.
[42:30] Describes the reasons why legislative situation has evolved further, to the benefit of victims, in Scotland than in England.
[46:11] Discusses how the establishment of the Scottish Parliament has benefited the experience of victims in Scotland and how Scotland’s asbestos legislation compares globally.
[47:43] Describes the current campaigns and activity of Clydeside Action on Asbestos.
[50:59] Closing remarks upon the importance of the recognition of other asbestos related lung cancers in addition to mesothelioma, in terms of legislation and support.
[52:53] Describes inaccuracies in predictions for when the peak of asbestos-related deaths will be seen.

University of Strathclyde | Scottish Oral History Centre

Peter McGlashan papers

  • GB 249 T-MIN/32
  • Collection
  • 1909-1919

Oil painting of the Felspar at sea by unknown artist, 1909; certificate of commission from the Office of the Admiralty, appointing Mr Peter McGlashan to the temporary commission of Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve, 1916.

McGlashan, Peter, 1871-1932, seaman

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