Supporting the University of Edinburgh's commitments to digital skills, information literacy, and sharing knowledge openly

Month: November 2016

May 2014 – The Right to Be Forgotten & the Mackintosh Building Fire

Two very different events took place in May 2014. As many will recall with great sadness, the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building, often considered Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece, was severely damaged by fire when “a canister of expanding foam” used in close proximity to a hot projector, caused flammable gases to ignite. Since that time, conservation efforts have been ongoing to reopen the Mackintosh building in 2018.

Screengrab of the Mackintosh Building fire

Screengrab of the Mackintosh Building fire

Elsewhere in May 2014, the Google Spain case was being heard at the European Union Court of Justice.

The Right to be Forgotten (GDPR).

Case Summary

The ‘Right to be Forgotten’ (RTBF) was actualised by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) following its ruling in May 2014 in Google Inc. vs. Agencia Espanola de Proteccion de Datos (aka the Google Spain case). The court ruled that personal information about a Spanish citizen, Mario Costeja Gonzalez, relating to his home being repossessed in 1998 could be removed from search engine results and that any EU citizen could apply to search engines to request that certain links be removed where they are “inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant”. This controversial ruling, has since become the key pillar, Article 17, of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) set to become law automatically in every EU member state on 25th May 2018 (Ruaraidh, 2016).

The ruling affects not only search engines but any organisation that hosts EU citizens’ information or does business in the EU. (Werfel, 2016). Google’s reaction to the ruling was to de-list search results from the domain extension the delisting request originated from (e.g. for Germany and for France). However, the results could still easily be seen if you utilised a different domain extension; such as As a result, France slapped a $112,000 fine on Google for its refusal to remove results outside of France. Consequently, Google now utilises geolocations to determine which country the searcher is searching from and de-lists all affected search results accordingly, regardless of domain extension; thereby “obeying the letter of the law, if not the spirit.”(Tarantola, 2016).


Importance of the Case:

The case has been described as a breakthrough in data protection leading to “a brave new world” (Ruaraidh, 2016) while, at the same time, trampling the ‘right to know’ and marking “the beginning of the end of the global internet, where everyone has access to the same information.” (Granick in Toobin, 2015)

I find the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ as a central pillar of the GDPR a really fascinating subject. The arguments on both sides are really pertinent ones for right now: the ‘right to be respected’ (Ruaraidh, 2016) or ‘right to privacy’ on the one hand versus freedom of information or ‘the right to know’ on the other. Not least because Toobin (2014)’s article in The New Yorker showed both the risks of having a ‘right to be forgotten’ which can be abused (e.g. a Croatian pianist asking for a bad review in the Washington Post to be de-listed) versus the case of the Catsouras family in the USA who were the subject of a chapter in Werner Herzog’s new movie ‘Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected world’(2016). The Catsouras case involves a family where their teenage daughter tragically died in a car crash. Mr. & Mrs. Catsouras, along with the daughter’s siblings, had a memory of their daughter that they held on to which was shattered when the police crime scene photographs, taken by the Californian Highway Patrol, somehow came into the public domain and went viral. Suddenly Mr. & Mrs. Catsouras were confronted with graphic images of their daughter’s body decapitated in the fatal accident. So far their attempts to get the pictures de-listed or removed from the internet have been thwarted because the US has no ‘right to be forgotten’ so the fact the GDPR includes it as its central pillar, Article 17, means that the father, Christos Catsouras has said the European Court of Justice ruling represented a “broader victory. “I cried when I read about that decision,” he told me. “What a great thing it would have been for someone in our position. That’s all I wanted. I would do anything to be able to go to Google and have it remove those links.”(Toobin, 2014).

Google processes 90% of searches in Europe (Fioretti, 2014) and has reviewed in excess of 1.5 million webpages, de-listing 40% of them across Europe (Lumsden 2016); effectively creating a library where book titles are removed from the searchable catalogue. The books are still there “but their existence would be unknown and therefore, their access made more difficult.“(Gratton, 2016).

Wikimedia understandably are not a fan of what the Right to be Forgotten means in practice:

Accurate search results are vanishing in Europe with no public explanation, no real proof, no judicial review, and no appeals process… the result is an Internet riddled with memory holes – places where inconvenient information simply disappears.(Tretikov in Fioretti, 2014).

While Google claim the CJEU ruling forces them into a role they are uncomfortable with i.e. deciding what is & is not included in their ‘card catalogue’ (Walker in Toobin, 2015); others maintain that Google’s role has always been more than passive intermediary; therefore “if you’re going to be in the business of search then you need to take on privacy obligations.” (Rutenberg in Toobin, 2015). Forcing private companies to become judge & jury on public searching can hardly be ideal however; especially when Google notifying affected sites can, ironically, increase public scrutiny through what’s been termed ‘the Streisand effect’.

The GDPR will certainly toughen the penalties for non-compliance of these privacy obligations. Previously, £500,000 was the maximum penalty in the UK for breaching privacy rules. Now organisations will be penalised 4% of their turnover, or twenty million Euros, whichever is greater (Davidson, 2016). Organisations, therefore, will need to know & understand the data they hold on individuals in much stricter way. For some, this is a triumph, heralding a new ‘right to be respected’ (Ruaraidh, 2016). Others see it as Balkanizing the internet; resulting in a race to the bottom to see which country’s laws can apply the most pressure on Google (Zittrain in Toobin, 2015).



The debate over freedom of information vs. the right to privacy will continue to be a source of heated debate. While IM professionals should be very wary of Right To Be Forgotten compromising a record’s integrity & trustworthiness, tighter data protection protocols for UK organisations are likely to become the norm from here on.

Advice from the Information Commisioner’s Office, and independent legal firms, is to start planning your approach to GDPR compliance now (Rustici, 2016). The 2018 deadline is not far away for an institution the size of Edinburgh University to get prepared for with 37,510 students (2015/2016 Student Factsheet) and 13,818 staff (Sept. 2016 HR factsheet). While Brexit creates great uncertainty on the UK’s adherence to EU laws, the likelihood is that, regardless of Brexit, UK Higher Education Institutions will still have to comply with the GDPR. (Rustici, 2016)

Google could, post Brexit, lobby the British court not to adhere to RTBF in the UK however the ICO are advocating the terms of the Data Protection Act (1998) be extended as a way of ensuring UK organisations adopt a stricter data protection strategy more in line with GDPR (Lambe, 2016). While research is currently exempted by the GDPR, Edinburgh University would appear to still be bound to it in that it processes personal data of EU subjects. Therefore, the university will have to ensure it puts a plan in place ensuring a culture of ‘privacy by design’. (McCall, 2016).

This means implementing the ICO’s 12 steps including: designating a Data Protection Office; reviewing rules governing data erasure & portability; getting I.T. to map out & review the data processes throughout the university and how data is shared with 3rd parties; liaising with HR to raise awareness of data protection throughout the university. Reviews of data protection policies and how consent is given & recorded. Data breach protocols will have to be tightened up and any breach must be reported to the ICO within 72 hours. Subject Access Requests will no longer be charged for and must be responded to within a month.

Ultimately, the university may need to ensure it is far more familiar with its data processes & its data protection strategies than it is at present. This may mean that they will better understand the value of the data that it does keep but it is likely that, in seeking to avoid liability, they will err on the side of increased erasure of data rather than less; resulting in ‘premature forgetting’ (Sartor, 2016). The balancing act remains a delicate one but it is something for ‘custodians of the record‘ to prepare for in their increasingly pivotal role.

If the record is to mean anything, now and in the future, it has to have integrity, intactness, trustworthiness, and that can’t be the case if individual people have the opportunity or right or authority to pick and choose and prune and primp the way they are portrayed.” (Joseph Janes, 2016, American Libraries)

Meanwhile…. at the Glasgow School of Art Archives

While organisations around the UK prepare for the GDPR coming in 2018, the Glasgow School of Art archives had to move following the Mackintosh fire to take up residence in their new temporary home of The Whisky Bond site until the Mackintosh building reopens in 2018.

The World War One Roll of Honour Project

Thankfully, the Glasgow School of Art’s WW1 Roll of Honour survived the fire.

GSofA’s First World War Roll of Honour was designed and made by former GSA student Dorothy Doddrell in 1925 to commemorate the efforts of GSA staff, students and governors who served in WW1.

Dorothy Doddrell (All Rights Reserved to Glasgow School of Art)

Dorothy Doddrell (All Rights Reserved to Glasgow School of Art)

With the support of the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund, it also underwent conservation in 2014.

The memorial is now temporarily on display in GSofA’s Reid Building where it will remain until it can be reinstated in the Mackintosh Building following the completion of restoration work to the building.

WW1 Roll of Honour (All rights reserved to Glasgow School of Art)

WW1 Roll of Honour (All rights reserved to Glasgow School of Art)

The Roll of Honour takes the form of an illuminated parchment in paint and gold leaf set within a substantial copper and wood framed triptych.

Unlike most war memorials, the Roll of Honour records the names and regiments not only of those who died, but also of over 400 GSA staff, students and governors who served in the war.

Herald advert (All rights reserved by Glasgow School of Art)

Herald advert (All rights reserved by Glasgow School of Art)

A recently discovered advertisement placed in the Glasgow Herald on 1 November, 1920 shows that the School of Art required the support of the wider public (or at least the readership of the Glasgow Herald) in collating the necessary information in order to deliver a suitable memorial.

Researching the names on the WW1 Roll of Honour

  • In 2015 a research project, supported by a Scottish Council on Archives’ and Heritage Lottery Fund Skills for the Future traineeship, sought to explore and document the stories behind the names recorded on the Roll of Honour.
  • A team of volunteers is now continuing with this research, using original material from GSA’s rich archives and collections to create biographies of those staff and students who feature on the memorial. The resulting biographies have and will continue to be made available on the Archives and Collections online catalogue:

How it worked

  • The investigation process begins with scouring the GSA’s student registers for any recorded instances relating to a listed name which may give an indication of the years they studied at the GSA, the classes they attended, which teachers they had, where they lived, what job they performed and so on.
  • Consulting a number of other sources: census records, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage records, medal cards, regiment histories, photographs as well as any notable artworks or architectural designs bearing their name.

I was a volunteer on the WW1 Roll of Honour project.

Screengrab of William Lindsay Renwick's entry on Glasgow School of Art Archives' website.

Screengrab of William Lindsay Renwick’s entry on Glasgow School of Art Archives’ website.

William Lindsay Renwick was one name on the roll of honour that I researched among many others: a University of Glasgow graduate, he undertook bookbinding classes at the Glasgow School of Art before becoming a professor of English Literature at Durham University and Edinburgh University where he was the founder of the School of Scottish Studies. William Lindsay Renwick fought at the Battle of Loos during World War One where he felt ‘like a ghost, an old ghost, sceptical and disillusioned.’”

Professor William Lindsay Renwick is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art’s First World War Roll of Honour.

The research I undertook changed the way I viewed war memorials. It shouldn’t have but it did. I realised the name on the Roll of Honour was just one part and there was much more to be said: places lived in; jobs undertaken & where; family members; wives; children; the subjects they studied; their notable artworks; their achievements; the regiments they served in; the battles they fought in; the lives cut short and those lived afterwards; where they married; what they did; how they died. Uncovering the life story behind each name was detective work of the most rewarding kind.

As part of last week’s Samhuinn Wikipedia editathon to honour the dead, we created 16 new articles to remember notable lives & contributions; one of which was on William Lindsay Renwick who founded the School of Scottish Studies. Hence, while the debate about the Right to be Forgotten is an important one, it has to be balanced against the importance of remembering. And that’s where Wikipedia can play a vital role in ensuring digital provenance where the record is trustworthy, reliable and remembered.

Eugene Bourdon (1st Professor of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art)

Eugene Bourdon (1st Professor of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art)

Eugene Bourdon exhibition 5th November to 4th December 2016

From 5th Nov – 4th Dec the Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections are actually holding an exhibition in GSA’s Reid Building of the work of GSA’s first professor of architecture Eugene Bourdon (see here for more info: To accompany the exhibition the A&C team will be providing a series of lunchtime talks (dates to be confirmed), one of which will be about Eugene Bourdon (who died at the battle of the Somme) which you would be more than welcome to attend.


  1. Arthur, Charles (2014-05-14). “Explaining the ‘right to be forgotten’ – the newest cultural shibboleth”. The Guardian. ISSN0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  2. Bartolini, Cesare; Siry, Lawrence (2016-04-01). “The right to be forgotten in the light of the consent of the data subject”. Computer Law & Security Review. 32 (2): 218–237. doi:1016/j.clsr.2016.01.005.
  3. Bygrave, Lee A. (2014-12-01). “A Right to Be Forgotten?”. Commun. ACM. 58 (1): 35–37. doi:1145/2688491. ISSN0001-0782.
  4. “Right to be forgotten”. Wikipedia. 2016-10-27.
  5. Janes, Joseph. “Forget Me Not”. American Libraries Magazine. 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  6. Davidson, Colette (2016-04-15). “How Europe’s new privacy rules affect entire digital economy”. Christian Science Monitor. ISSN0882-7729. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  7. Dent, S. (2016). France fines Google for breaking ‘right to be forgotten’ law. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  8. Fioretti, Julia (2014).“Wikipedia fights back against Europe’s “right to be forgotten””. Reuters. 2016-08-06. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  9. Engineering, NYU Tandon School of. “NYU Researchers Find Weak Spots in Europe’s “Right to be Forgotten” Data Privacy Law”. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
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  11. Gollins, Tim (2016-07-02). “The ethics of memory in a digital age: interrogating the right to be forgotten”. Archives and Records. 37 (2): 255–257. doi:1080/23257962.2016.1220293. ISSN2325-7962.
  12. Gratton, E. (2016, May 10). ‘Right to be forgotten’ wrong for canada. National Post Retrieved from
  13. Kerr, J. (2016). What Is Search Engine: The Simple Question the Court of Justice of the European Union Forgot to Ask and What It Means for the Future of the Right to Be Forgotten. Chicago Journal of International Law 17(1), 217-243.
  14. Lambe, John (2016). “Data Protection and Brexit: The implications for UK businesses – Hillyer McKeown”. Hillyer McKeown. 2016-07-05. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  15. Lambert, Paul (2014). International Handbook of Social Media Laws: Chapter 1 Introduction and Right to Be Forgotten. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  16. Lardinois, Frederic. “Google now uses geolocation to hide ‘right to be forgotten’ links from its search results”. TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  17. Lecher, Colin (2016-03-04). “Google will apply the ‘right to be forgotten’ to all EU searches next week”. The Verge. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  18. org (2016).“The new EU General Data Protection Regulation: why it worries universities & researchers – LERU : League of European Research Universities”. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  19. Lloyd, I. G. (2008) Information Technology Law.5th Oxford University Press: Oxford.
  20. Lunden, Ingrid. “Google files appeal in France opposing an order to apply Right to be Forgotten globally”. TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  21. MacCarthy, M., 2016. Don’t let the rhetoric fool you: The U.S. and the EU share common ground on privacy. com.
  22. McCall, Rebecca (2016). “Will you be ready for the General Data Protection Regulation?”. Association of Heads of University Administration. 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  23. McSmith, Andy (2016). “15 EU laws we will miss in post-Brexit Britain”. The Independent. 2016-06-25. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  24. Myers, Cayce (2016-04-24). “Digital Immortality vs. “The Right to be Forgotten”: A Comparison of U.S. and E.U. Laws Concerning Social Media Privacy”. Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relations. 16 (3): 47–60. doi:21018/rjcpr.2014.3.175. ISSN2344-5440.
  25. Robertson, Adi (2015-11-25). “Google ‘right to be forgotten’ requests keep piling up”. The Verge. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  26. Robinson, D. (2016, Feb 12). Google extends ‘right to be forgotten’ EU-wide. Financial Times Retrieved from
  27. Ruaraidh, Thomas, (2016). New rules boost data privacy rights. Financial Adviser.
  28. Rustici, Chiara (2016). “Don’t think that Brexit will save you from the EU data protection rules”. ComputerWeekly. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  29. Rustici, Chiara (2016). “Start getting ready for Europe’s new data protection regulation today”. Help Net Security. 2016-02-26. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
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  38. Young, Mary (2016). ‘The risks of deleting history’. Retrieved 2016-10-29.


Wikipedia editathon for Samhuinn: Gaelic Fire Festival for the Dead

Samhuinn editathon (CC-BY-SA)

Samhuinn editathon

Tomorrow marks Armistice Day commemorated every year on November 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I.

So this post is all about remembering.

Last week, on 31st October & 1st November, the University’s Information Services team held an event to mark Samhuinn: the Gaelic Festival for the Dead.

Samhuinn is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. This is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Similar festivals are held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall), and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany)…

It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. As at Beltane, special bonfires were lit. These were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers and there were rituals involving them. Like Beltane, Samhuinn was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. This meant the Aos Sí, the ‘spirits’ or ‘fairies‘, could more easily come into our world. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. At Samhuinn, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink were left outside for them. The souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Mumming and guising were part of the festival, and involved people going door-to-door in costume (or in disguise), often reciting verses in exchange for food. The costumes may have been a way of imitating, and disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí.” [Source: Wikipedia]

Our Wikipedia event was to remember & honour the dead through setting a place for them on Wikipedia and we were fortunate to secure two great guest speakers in Dr. Emily Lyle, an Honorary Fellow at the School of Scottish Studies, and Dr. Neil Rhind from the Beltane Fire Society.

Neil Rhind and Faerie Porters (courtesy of Eugenia Twomey)

Neil Rhind and Faerie Porters (courtesy of Eugenia Twomey)

More pics and tweets from the day can be found on the Storify here.

Outcomes of the Wikipedia editathon (16 new articles created & 300 openly licensed images uploaded)

  1. Honor Fell, British scientist and zoologist, translated onto Swedish Wikipedia. Her contributions to science included the development of experimental methods in organ culture, tissue culture, and cell biology. Wikipedia’s new Content Translation tool is easy to learn in just 3 minutes and means you can easily translate Wikipedia articles from one language into another.
  2. Brenda Moon – Librarian to the University of Edinburgh from 1980 to 1996. She was the first female chief of a university library in Scotland, and one of the first female librarian chiefs of a major UK research university.

    First female chief librarian at a Scottish university, Brenda Moon. CC-BY-SA

    First female chief librarian at a Scottish university, Brenda Moon. CC-BY-SA

  3. Janet Anne Galloway (1841–1909)
    Janet Anne Galloway. CC-BY-SA

    Janet Anne Galloway.

    promoted higher education for women in Scotland. As a result of the limited educational opportunities open to women, Janet became an active supporter of the movement for higher education provision for women. In 1877 Janet was appointed as the honorary secretary of the new Glasgow Association for the Higher Education of Women, founded by Jessie Campbell and financed by Isabella Elder. John Caird, principal of Glasgow University at the time, was the first Chairman of its General Committee.

  4. Katherine Clerk Maxwell – a Scottish physical scientist best known for her observations which supported and contributed to the discoveries of her husband, James Clerk Maxwell. She born Katherine Dewar in 1824 In Glasgow and married Clerk Maxwell in 1859. Her contributions are largely recorded in writings on her husband, partly due to a fire at the Maxwell family estate which destroyed many of the family papers.
  5. James MacLagan – a Church of Scotland minister and collector of Scottish Gaelic poetry and song. He was the creator of the McLagan Manuscripts, a collection of some 250 manuscripts containing 630 items of primarily Gaelic song and poetry collected in the second half of the eighteenth century including many of the most well-known 17th- and 18th-century Gaelic poets such as Iain Lom, Màiri nighean Alasdair Ruaidh and Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair.
  6. Jeffery Collins – prolific electrical engineer who directed and researched experimental physics, robotics, microelectronics, communications technologies and parallel computing.
  7. David Houston (zoologist) – Demonstrated Sex Allocation in lesser black-backed gulls in a practical study with Pat Monaghan in 1999.
  8. Susan Manning (professor) 
    Susan Manning (CC-BY-SA)

    Susan Manning (CC-BY-SA)

    – Scottish academic born in Glasgow, Scotland[1]. She specialized in Scottish studies and English literature. Before her untimely death in 2013 at the age of 59 years, she was the Grierson Professor in English literature in the University of Edinburgh and the Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities (IASH) an institute under the University of Edinburgh. Prof. Manning’s work on Scottish enlightenment and transatlantic literature got her international acclaim. Due to her intellectual and academic expertise, Susan was a fellow in the prestigious Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce, Edinburgh. Susan Manning after completing her Bachelors of Arts from Newnham College, University of Cambridge in 1976 went to do her doctorate under Prof. David Levin, a literary scholar and the Commonwealth Professor of English in the University of Viriginia, USA.

  9. Joan Brown (potter) – British potter. She setup her pottery workshop in 1967 in Richmond and exhibited widely in Britain. She was born in Aberdeen and was the daughter of Gerda and Walter Bruford. She was married to the landscape architect Michael Brown and worked on several projects for architects, including creating a water sculpture for her husband’s sunken roof garden design for the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She was an associate member of the Craft Potters Association and exhibited several times in the Royal Scottish Academy Christmas Show.
  10. Magdalena Midgley – former Professor of the European Neolithic at the University of Edinburgh (2013-4), dedicated her archaeological career to teaching and researching early farming cultures of Continental Europe. She became renowned for her survey of the TRB culture (Funnel(-neck-)beaker culture), the first farming culture of the North European Plain and southern Scandinavia which was published by Edinburgh University Press.
  11. Ernest Francis Bashford
    Ernest Francis Bashford c/o Cancer Research UK / Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA

    Ernest Francis Bashford c/o Cancer Research UK / Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA

    – Influential oncologist who pioneered the biological approach to the study of cancer. At Edinburgh he was Vans Dunlop Scholar in anatomy, chemistry, zoology and botany, Mackenzie Bursar in practical anatomy, and won the Whitman prize for clinical medicine, the Patterson prize in clinical surgery, was appointed to the Houldsworth research scholarship in experimental pharmacology and won the Stark scholarship in clinical medicine and pathology. He established the modern practice of experimental investigation of cancer in Britain, asserting that it was a biological problem and not confined to human pathology. From 1915 he served with the Royal Army Medical Corps, initially with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and then in France, where he held the post of adviser in pathology in the Army of Occupation. He was appointed OBE in 1919 and died from heart failure in Germany on 23 August 1923.

  12. Christian Kay – Emeritus Professor of English Language and Honorary Professorial Research Fellow in English Language at the University of Glasgow. She was co-editor with scholar Michael Samuels, for the world’s largest and first historical dictionary Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (HTOED), a project she dedicated 40 years to (1969 – 2009). Kay also founded the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech and published work on historical semantics and lexicography, and contributed metaphor and semantic annotation based projects on the Historical Thesaurus of English dataset (HTOED). Kay was educated at The Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh. She completed a MA in English Language and Literature at the University of Edinburgh, before continuing on to Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, USA. Retiring in 2005, then Professor of English Language, Kay remained active in the facilitation and research in Thesaurus-derived projects. Kay is credited to have created the first computer laboratory for English studies in the world, developing cutting-edge teaching software, and first of its kind research-led courses in literary and linguistic computing. The result of 44 years of work, the HTOED received critical acclaim and was awarded the Saltire Society Research Book of the Year Award in 2009. The Christian Kay Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Undergraduate Research into Modern English Language and Linguistics was set up in the Professor’s memory.
  13. Anne Strachan Robertson – archeologist, numismatist and writer who was a professor of archeology at the University of Glasgow.
  14. George Robin Henderson (mathematician) – Scots mathematician with a flair for music. Noted as an inspirational character in his field, he taught at Boroughmuir High School, lectured at Napier College, played cornet and tuba, and through the 1980s and 90s as a member of the MacTaggart Scott Works Band he revived the band and pushed them to have a “positive impact on the community”.
  15. William Lindsay Renwick – Professor of English Literature at the University of Durham from 1921 to 1945 and Regis Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at Edinburgh University from 1945-1959 where he founded the School of Scottish Studies. William was educated at the Woodside School. He then went on to enrol at the University of Glasgow in October 1907. In 1912, he was awarded the George A. Clark Scholarship which allowed him to study French & Italian at the Sorbonne, Toulouse and the British School in Rome. Upon the outbreak of war, William joined the tenth battalion of the Cameronians (The Royal Scottish Rifles) on 27th September 1914. He experienced trench warfare with this regiment & rose quickly in the ranks to become a Captain, serving at home and in France where his battalion took part in the Battle of Loos. After experiencing this particularly devastating attack, according to his entry on Glasgow University’s Roll of Honour, he felt ‘like a ghost, an old ghost, sceptical and disillusioned.’ William returned to civilian life in 1919 and enrolled at Merton College at Oxford University where he completed a thesis on the renaissance poet, Edmund Spenser. William moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to become Professor of English Literature at the University of Durham in 1921. He remained in this role for the next twenty-four years. Upon the outbreak of the Second World War, William joined the Home Guard where he was made a commander. Following the end of the war in 1945, William was appointed Regis Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at Edinburgh University. Moving to a new home in Edinburgh overlooking Arthur’s Seat, he was to remain in this role until he retired in 1959.
  16. Isabella Elder – article improved.
  17. Queen Margaret College (Glasgow) – article improved.
  18. Galoshin section added to Mummers_play#galoshin
  19. 7 openly-licensed images of carved pumpkins and turnips uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.
  20. Evelyn Gillan – Champion of women’s rights, co-founder of the Zero Tolerance campaign and the main proponent in bringing about a minimum alcohol pricing law in Scotland.
  21. Sethu Vijayakumar page created. Sethu Vijayakumar is Professor of Robotics at the University of Edinburgh and a judge on the BBC2 show Robot Wars. He was instrumental in bringing the first Valkyrie humanoid robot out of the United States of America, and to Europe.
  22. 294 openly-licensed images of the #Somme100 ‘We are here’ soldiers commemoration uploaded to WikiCommons.
'We're here because we're here.' Public domain image.

‘We’re here because we’re here.’ Public domain image.


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