The School of Law at the University of Aberdeen has launched a blog.
The inaugural post is about some minutes unearthed at the University’s Old Aberdeen campus, dating from 1919 to 1944. Some of the entries are fairly inane: the first entry from 5 December 1919 tells of a Professor who should be relieved of his Roman Law teaching duties and teach a new course in Mercantile Law instead. Some show the minute taker might have been a bit bored: 26 June 1944 features some doodling in the marginal notes. Some show that traditions of the University are longstanding: there are a number of references to the Cruickshank Prize in the minutes from the 1920s and this prize is still awarded. Whereas some of the entries are truly remarkable, as highlighted in the School of Law blog.
Three entries are made about correspondence received from the University of Amsterdam asking for support in a resolution about (amongst other things) Nazi Germany’s ‘failure to uphold the principles of justice and the rights of man‘. I invite you to read some more background and the transcripts of the relevant entries on the blog.
There might be other tidbits of interest in there. For example, the entry from 25 May 1943 highlights that two prisoners of war in Oflag VII-B (in Bavaria) should be allowed to sit their exams under the supervision of the British Red Cross. The website linked to backs-up the minutes, detailing that Douglas Reith and Richard (Dick) Ellis were indeed held there. Separately, although not detailed in the minutes, my colleague Dr Andrew Simpson has pointed out that the University of Aberdeen awarded Winston Churchill an honorary degree. Professor Taylor (who is named in the minutes, and the building in which I work is named after him) delivered the speech in his honour at that time. All of this provides a wonderful insight into what was going on at the University of Aberdeen and further afield in the lead-up to World War II, World War II itself and beyond. Whilst I make no claim to be a World War II historian, I do hope this information might prove to be of wider interest and perhaps even prompt further study.