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Treasure 30: G M Fraser Local History Lectures to Children - Selection of Tickets

Historic Documents
Léa Moreau
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Historic Documents Details
Our treasure from the Library archive reflects the policy of the Library in the early 20th century and very much as it is today - "to get closely into touch with the children of the community" (Library Annual report 1913/14).

G M Fraser delivered a series of free local history lectures (in a series of 4) to children in the Juvenile Department every winter from 1914 - until the last one in February 1936. However there was one exception! After his first lecture in November 1928 he slipped on ice and broke 3 ribs so the remaining 3 winter lectures were cancelled.

Topics for the lectures included Historical buildings, Streets of Aberdeen, Place names, Battlefields, Streams and Lochs, Hill Forts, School Names and many more.

Tickets for the lectures were distributed with the co-operation of the Elementary Schools and each lecture was attended by up to 300 schoolchildren.
The earliest ticket we have in our collection is for the final lecture of the first series, "Historic Street Names in Aberdeen" on 11 February 1915, seen on display with a selection of others. The very first lecture was given on 6 November 1914 "An Evening in Historical Aberdeen" with lantern illustrations, followed by, The Story of the Castlegate and The Friars in Aberdeen.
Children were invited to write an essay on the subject of each lecture and local history books such as "The Old Deeside Road" were awarded as prizes.

The lectures were described as "a delightful experience for everyone concerned" and "the subsequent essays sent in were a pleasure to read". To ensure blind people were included, from 1916 the lectures were delivered separately at the Asylum for the Blind at their social evenings and we are told "heckling" the lecturer was encouraged!
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