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Treasure 45: British Association for the Advancement of Science - 1934 Visit Souvenir

Historic Documents
Léa Moreau
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Historic Documents Details
The British Science Association holds its annual British Science Week in March when a variety of events including talks and activity days for adults, schools, and families are held country-wide to celebrate science and technology.

The British Science Association has evolved from the organisation which was founded in 1831 as the British Association for the Advancement of Science with the aim of promoting interest and research in the sciences, believed to be in decline at the time.

Their annual meetings, held in different cities across the UK during a week in early September, allowed professional scientists to discuss their current research not only with members of other scientific disciplines but also with the general public.

In this Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, it may be interesting to look back at these annual meetings of the Association when Aberdeen welcomed 2000 - 3000 scientists and members in 1859, 1885, 1934 and 1963.
The 1934 visit was even more special because it coincided with the Jubilee of the city's adoption of the Public Library Acts in 1884. A special luncheon was held on Friday 7 September in the Aberdeen Central Library Reference Department when the City Librarian, G.M. Fraser, and the Library Committee entertained 112 invited guests, including the President Sir James H. Jeans, the President-elect Professor W. W. Watts, and about 70 of the more distinguished members of the Association, with representatives of educational, official, professional, commercial and industrial interests of the city. This was believed to be the first time that such an event had been held in a public library and it was regarded as hugely successful.

This attractive menu card in the form of the binding of a book was created by local printing firm Taylor and Henderson at a cost of £9. 5s. 6d. for 120 copies. Catering, including the food, decorations and staff, was provided by the Royal Athenaeum Restaurant at a cost of 5 shillings per head - a total cost of £50 11s. 3d
Having been greeted in the Library Committee Room by Lord Provost of Aberdeen Henry Alexander, the guests were guided by members of staff through the Lending Department to the main staircase which was laid with crimson cloth and decorated with plants and shrubs.

The Library staff were also able to enjoy the day by being treated to lunch at the nearby Caledonian Hotel on Union Terrace, although they were expected to return in time to help escort their honoured guests from the Library.
Guests included Sir Arthur Hill of Royal Botanic Gardens, Miss Olga Nethersole, founder of The People's League of Health, Dr Marie Stopes, paleobotanist, but perhaps better remembered for her work on women's rights and birth control, Sir Josiah Stamp of London Midland and Scottish Railway, and Sir Arthur Eddington, astronomer.

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