Professor Tom Devine gives public lecture in honour of Dundee archivist

Professor Sir Tom Devine has given the inaugural lecture in a brand-new annual series which has been created to mark the work of a Dundee archivist.

The first Innes Duffus Lecture has taken place

Professor Devine, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Edinburgh discussed 'Wealth and Poverty in Victorian Dundee: The Global Context' in the first-ever ‘Innes Duffus Lecture’ which was held yesterday (Monday 9 December) at Dundee University’s Dalhousie Building.

Initiated and sponsored by the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee, and organised by the High School of Dundee, the event recognises the outstanding contribution over several decades made by the Nine Trades Archivist and High School FP Innes Duffus to the history of the Nine Trades specifically, and of the city of Dundee more widely.

The public lecture, to which pupils from all Dundee secondary schools were invited, was followed by an open Q&A session.

Innes Duffus said, “It was a wonderful event”, before joking, “I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve all the fuss!”  

Professor Sir Tom Devine

Professor Devine said, “It’s an honour to have been invited to be the first in this series, which I hope will continue in perpetuity”, before going on to discuss the “incredible” success of Dundee in the 19th Century and how rapid growth brought about “major social costs”. 

Iain Murray, Deacon Convenor of the Nine Incorporated Trades, said, “Innes Duffus has done a huge amount as Archivist to the Nine Trades over many years.

“No-one has been more passionate and knowledgeable about this key strand of Dundee’s history. We wanted to thank him by marking his contributions through an annual lecture on an important aspect of Dundee’s identity and history.”

Rector of the High School of Dundee, Dr John Halliday, said, “We are delighted that such a pre-eminent historian agreed to present the inaugural Innes Duffus Lecture.

“Professor Devine has such a wealth of expertise and knowledge of the vast sweep of Scottish history but also is able to build the bigger picture on the back of an incredibly detailed knowledge of people, places and events. It was wonderful to be able to learn more about a fascinating topic.

“Our thanks go to the Nine Trades for enabling this annual event to take place and I hope it will become a feature of Dundee’s cultural landscape for many years to come.”