45s, spectacles and Coca Cola

April 24, 2009

I recently had a conversation with a friend regarding items he had collected over the years related to his band. He was concerned about whether he should retain entire magazines or just cut out their review. After some thought over the implications of retaining these magazines (storage!) he decided that looking back at this material it was also important to see what other bands were being reviewed and, generally, to have a sense of the music scene at that period in time.

This retention issue is a situation often faced in collections management and here at the SPL the Edwin Morgan Archive contains a large number of journals and newspapers with only a short contribution by Morgan. However, perusing through them provides the opportunity to see not only who else was writing or what events were taking place at the time but they also give insight into society as a whole – there’s a nostalgia factor to going through these materials

I, like Lizzie yesterday, have been quite amused by the advertisements. For instance, a 1968 issue of the Glasgow University Magazine has an advertisement for Coca-Cola showing a spectacled professor in front of a chalkboard and the line, “Simple formula for perfect refreshment”. It’s quite a transformation from today’s topless man in Diet Coke commercials and the professor wears similar glasses to both Edwin Morgan and the library’s Communications Officer (whee! one remove from greatness! CO). We’d love to post an image of “Professor Coke” but we don’t want to get sued by Coca-Cola for copyright violations. Instead we’ll share a photo of a record which is part of the archive. Finding such a record (a 45) at the back of a 1982 Stereo Headphones journal is amazing because this is a format of sound recording not often seen amongst today’s iPod generation. Not only is the archive a rich resource of material because of the insight it provides into Morgan’s work, but also because of these unexpected (and sometimes unrelated) treasures.

~ Lisa


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