By Marzena Asher, Library Volunteer
The fire at Glasgow School of Art in May 2014 destroyed most of the books and journals held in the Mackintosh Library. As the GSA is one of Scotland’s most prestigious cultural institutions many people were keen to help rebuild the treasured collections by donating items. Private collectors and various libraries and institutions from around the world have donated books and journals. GSA is very grateful for this generosity because it enables us to preserve our heritage of art, architecture and design knowledge for future generations of students. Donated materials have come from as far back as the middle of the nineteenth century right up to the end of the twentieth century.
My name is Marzena Asher and my role as a volunteer in the Library is essentially to record and add these donated items to the catalogue, making them once again available for all users. Handling donations is a process of checking whether they are required by the library and if so recataloguing them. For the past 3 months I have been focusing on items including historical architectural journals such as: The Builder, The Architect, The Architect’s Journal, Architectural Design and Construction and various other international titles. Many of the periodicals would have had an influence on the architecture of Glasgow in the early twentieth century. Some depict the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his contemporaries whose designs changed the cityscape and introduced the art nouveau style.
Losing library materials which document this distinctive time was upsetting for everyone, but thanks to the donations we have received, we are able to begin restoring this fantastic collection once more. I am happy and privileged that in a small way I am helping in this effort and making May 2014 not the end of the Mackintosh Library but merely a new beginning.
Photos copyright Edyta Majewska