Photos & Memories

In the Working-Class Marriage project, we want to get beyond public discourses and official policy to understand what people are actually thinking and experiencing of marriage and cohabitation; and how that experience relates to broader social and political understandings. To do this, we are asking for your help! As far as you are comfortable and able, we are inviting you to tell us your story. We are also inviting people to share their photos and marriage ephemera with us. We want to provide an opportunity for you to share what is important to you about marriage and relationships in Scotland today with the team and tell us what you want to know from our project.

We are appealing for diaries, love letters, photographs of couples, and wedding photographs dating from c.1860s -c.1976. The project team would be very interested in receiving any such items which readers may have in their ‘family archive’. All items would be photocopied, anonymised, securely stored and original items returned to the sender.

Contemporary diaries, romantic correspondence and photographs will undoubtedly provide fascinating insights into marriage, romance and family relations prior to the 1970s.You can find a sample of the material we have already received below.

If you can help, please contact us or send your diaries, letters and/or photographs with full contact details, including address, contact telephone number and e-mail address if applicable, to the address below. We would also be pleased to receive your experiences and memories in the form of a written testimony; anyone wishing to provide a written testimony should read our WCM Project Written Testimony Information Sheet  and complete the attached consent form when sending it to us. We also welcome photographs in scanned format, which can be sent either electronically to our e-mail address below or in paper form. All materials will be processed by the University in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and securely stored within the University before being returned to the sender:

Andrea Thomson, Project Team – A History of Working-Class Marriage, c/o Room 209, Economic and Social History, Lilybank House, Bute Gardens, University of Glasgow, GLASGOW G12 8RT

For additional information about any aspect of the Project, please phone or email:Andrea Thomson on 0141 330 8118

Wedding Photos


















Family group, 1888














Cartes de Visite

Love Letters

“My own darling Mary” – a letter home to his wife from a severely injured World War 2 soldier.


If you think that your photographs might be too damaged or faded to be used, we can work a little magic to make sure they are at their best. We received this image recently:


Partially colourised and with some folding damage, we worked a little magic to restore it.


Fully colourised it would have looked something like this:


7 thoughts on “Photos & Memories”

  1. I’m in the office next door to you (!) and have loads of old photos and cartes de visite that you might be interested in. Happy to share them with you if they are of interest. Photos span several families and probably from 1860/70 to 1980s.

  2. I attended a talk in Edinburgh where the presenter had a photo of extracts from eal;y newspapers dealing with Lonely Heart early dating ads! can you tell me what era these were from? the speaker was a researcher in this field and I have forgotten her name! Part of thePreviosly programme at Edinburgh University.
    We were very amused to read these ads!
    M. Wallker

    1. We’re pleased to hear that you enjoyed the talk from Rose Elliot. The lonely hearts ads we have collected range from the 1870s to the 1930s, with the bulk of them from the late-Victorian period.

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