Collection MS 258 - Alex Coupar photographic collection

Original Digital objects and photographs not accessible

Identity area

Reference code

MS 258

Title

Alex Coupar photographic collection

Date(s)

  • 1940s-2000s (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

3 linear metres

Context area

Name of creator

(1932-)

Biographical history

Alex Coupar was educated at Dens Road and Morgan Academy. He always wanted to be a photographer and joined DC Thomson after leaving school as a press photographer, eventually specialising in theatre work and the Scots Magazine.
In 1953 he served his National Service with the Royal Air Force School of Photography where he was a publicity photographer. In 1955, Coupar returned to Dundee and DC Thomson and where he worked on news stories and with the Dundee Repertory Theatre, producing production and publicity photographs.
Leaving DC Thomson in 1966, Coupar set up his own studio at 19 South Tay Street, working freelance for the press and for companies like Dundee Rep and Bett Brothers builders (his first clients). Coupar's studio, Spanphoto, became known as one of Scotland's premier photographic firms.
Alex Coupar married Margaret with whom he had a son and daughter. He retired and closed Spanphoto in 2000.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Draft outline: 1 box each of prints labelled: 35 mm negs; b/w industrial; odd prints / Scotts magazine etc; family pics??; colour prints; early pictures; transparencies Queen Mum exhib details; publications; annual a/cs; articles etc; prints; old pics 1950s; Queen Mother collection; Queen Mum; Rep and other theatre; old pics; publications; contact prints; large negs and tranparencies; cars, lorries etc; books, magazines and cuttings; mounted prints. Also 2 boxes labelled transparancies; 2 boxes labelled ships; 1 folder shipping photos; 2 boxes b/w prints;piles of large prints associated with Dundee, people, places incl Rep; 2 framed prints of people; 35 mm file no 1 includes negatives; 3 large boxes of photographs; 2 cameras in metal cases; 2 negative drawers; 4 volumes of negative index. [Acc 2013/551] Daily work diaries and a copy of a handwritten biography of Alex Coupar [Acc 2013/564] Copies of 'Life and Work with Photographs by Alex Coupar (September 1966, October 1966, January 1967, October 1967, November 1967, February 1968, April 1968, June 1968, April 1970, October 1970), Material relating to Scottish Theatre Archive, 1997, Dundee's Own Chirstmas Number 1949, Dundee's Own Christmas Number 1968, Dundee's Own Chirstmas Number 1973, building and civil engineering section from The Scotsman June 12, 1969, 8 books on photography, c1947-1973 [Acc 2013/588] Photographs of RAF, 1915 planes in Tay, Glamis, Rep and the first photograph of Coupar's published in a newspaper from 1946, plus other photographs [Acc 2013/605] 5 x 35mm neg strips [2014/612] Images of Craig Pier market [Acc 2014/612]; Records relating to Spanphotos and Coupar's work with various local charitable and health organisations [Acc2014/615] ; Material relating to the closure of Coupar's partnership Spanphoto and attempts to form a new partnership; to Coupar's time on the board of Dundee Historic Environment Trust; to inovlvement with Radio Tay's Caring for Kids campaign; involvement with Anton House workshop for the disabled in Broughty Ferry; and to his time as Chairman of Balgowan school, includes material from the School, photographs and drafts for a publication put together by Coupar (Coupar thinks most of the school records have been destroyed) [2014/617] Cheques and bank statements, invoices, receipts, photo shoot diaries and other financial and administrative records related to Spanphoto Photographic Studio, Dundee [2014/619] Negatives: Traction engines, Aberdeen; Queen mother at Falkland Palace & Wimberely Court; 4 x5 negatives featuring the Queen Mother, 1955 & 1994; Scout Gang Show; packet of 2 1/4 negatives featuring the Beatles, Dundee; 1 x 2 1/4 featuring Sandy Campbell, Loch Awe [ACC 2015/738] Black & white print of University of St Andrews first computer, c1966; 4 colour prints of wedding flower arrangements at Park Church, Dundee, 10th September 1981. [2016/758] Bundle of black & white and colour prints of varying sizes: 5 sheets of colour contact prints of Dundee Harbour;2 strips of black & white contact prints of Bonawe Furnance & Taynuilt;2 black & white contact sheets and 1 print of Glenys Marshall;1 black & white print of Beth Robins;Black & white portrait of Bert Stewart 1951; Model promotional cards: Kelly Cooper; Gillian Lawson;2 colour prints of the Stratmore family, 21/10/1996;1 colour contact sheet of Joanna Lumley; 2 colour prints of St Andrews Church, Dundee, 2014;1 black & white print of the City of Hereford ship;1 colour print of a cave painting at Davaar, Argyll; 1 black & white print of a snowy Glenprosen;1 colour print of Skye;1 black & white print of the 'Unicorn', 1961;1 black & white contact sheet of Aboyne Station;1 black & white print of Perth Railway shed;1 colour advertising shot for Valentine's cards, c1980; 2 black & white prints of Balmoral Castle with Alex's children in the foreground, c1968;1 colour print for Scottish Gas used for a magazine cover; 13 black & white prints of trains; 1 black & white print of art by Neill Dallas Brown; 2 colour prints of 'Discovery' in Victoria Dock; 1 black & white print of Nell Curran; 1 colour print of Miss Arbroath, 1959; 1 black & white print of Fintry Scout troup, 1960; 1 black & white print of 'Bonnie Dundee' c1970-1980; 1 black & white print of the 'Flying Scotsman' - only visit to Dundee, 1964; 1 black & white print, Millers Boatyard, St Monance;Envelope of transparencies: theatre 101-144; various railways 1-210; 2 unlabelled packets; Flying Scotsman; 'Hogwarts Express', Bonnie Dundee.;Poster for talks and exhibitions: 'A Nation's Enterprise: the spirit of Dundee'; 'The Building of the Tay Road Bridge', 4th March 2010; 'Not the Papparazzi: The Royal family and me', 4th July 2013; 'Not Him Again', 7th July 2011. [2016/842] 1 box of 90 b & w and colour prints covering various subjects including people, shipping and employment; promotional posters for talks given by Alex Coupar; digital copies of photographs; slide including those used for talks given by Alex Coupar. [2017/853] Box of slides containing approximately 1100 slides covering various topics such as people, places and architecture, some of which are captioned or numbered; 1 blank 'Standard Signature Form for Models' which was used when using agency models; 1 envelope of contact sheets and prints of Aboyne, Park Avenue Church in Dundee and a Lord Dean of Guild Portrait. [2017/861] Limited edition prints of Tay Bridge fireworks with list of purchasers, various scenic prints chosen by Coupar and his wife to hang in their home; various newspapers, letter headings and other ephemera relating to the local area; cd of images used in Coupar's talk on the Building of the Tay Bridge; cd of images of Prince Charles visit to Glamis for new gate ceremony; The Rep 'Twenty Golden years'; 8 mounted prints of Alex Coupar at Scout Camp, 1942-44; slides of Rover Trip to Hungary, with list; slides used in talk about Theatre photography with list; negs of personal travels abroad and in the UK, 1990s, copy of letter from Joan Auld, Archivist concerning the negatives of the Queen Mother [2017/868*]

Accruals

Possible

System of arrangement

Usually chronological within series.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act (2018), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, 2018) and any other relevant legislation or restrictions. Clinical information is closed for 100 years.

Conditions governing reproduction

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges may be made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply; please check with the Duty Archivist.

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Description control area

Description identifier

MS 258

Rules and/or conventions used

Description compiled in line with the following standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) General International Standard Archival Description; International Council on Archives, ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families; National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997

Status

Catalogued

Dates of creation revision deletion

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

Digital objects and photographs (Master) rights area

Digital objects and photographs (Reference) rights area

Digital objects and photographs (Thumbnail) rights area

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