Please note that this project is no longer live.

The Wellcome Trust Research Resources-funded project ‘Body Language: movement, dance and physical education in Scotland, 1890-1990’ ran from July 2017 until April 2021.

Originally a 2 year project, the project was extended twice during its lifetime to allow for a change in staffing resource and due to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic. It was a collaborative project between Edinburgh University Library Special Collections and the Fergusson Gallery, Perth to catalogue, preserve and make available three significant collections relating to movement, dance, gymnastics and physical education in Scotland and beyond.

The project successfully preserved, conserved and catalogued four collections (listed below). An exhibition and engagement programme ran between July-December 2019. Over 1000 images from the collection were digitised and will be made available via the University of Edinburgh’s Image Collections website later in 2021. An online resource virtually uniting the collections was designed and is scheduled to go live in late 2021.

The Collections

  • The archives of Margaret Morris Movement International

Margaret Morris (1891-1980) established her own system for dance training, Margaret Morris Movement, which focuses on breathing techniques, posture and strength training with co-ordinated movements. Margaret Morris Movement International works today with people with mental and physical disabilities using Morris’s systems and techniques.

Search the online catalogue of the Margaret Morris Collection

  • The records of Dunfermline College of Physical Education

Dunfermline College of Physical Education (1905-1986) was one of the first training colleges for women students of physical education and had an important influence on developing the role of movement and the body in educational practice.

Search the online catalogue of the Dunfermline College of Physical Education Collections (please note that part of the catalogue is scheduled to be published late 2021).

  • The archives of Scottish Gymnastics

Scottish Gymnastics (1890-present) was founded as a voluntary organisation representing a number of Scottish gymnastic and athletic clubs. Broadening its initial focus from military fitness to general health and wellbeing, it was significant for promoting and supporting gymnastics in Scotland and abroad.

Search the online catalogue of the Scottish Gymnastics Archives

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336. http://www.ed.ac.uk/home