Torrance Collection


IDENTITY STATEMENT
Reference code(s): GB 0254 MS 38
Held at: Dundee University Archive Services
Domain: archival
Title: Torrance Collection
Date(s) of contents: 1880-1974
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 3.80 linear metres of archival material, including photographs and glass slides.

CONTEXT

Name of creator(s):
Torrance, David Watt (1862-1923)
Torrance, Herbert Watt (1892-1977)

Administrative/Biographical history: David Watt Torrance, son of Dr Thomas Torrance of Airdrie was born in 1862 and educated at Glasgow University, graduating MB in 1883. Despite being offered a post at Glasgow Infirmary he travelled to Palestine in 1884 and assisted in the inauguration of the Sea of Galilee Medical Mission. Following further training in Egypt, Damascus and Nazareth he returned in 1885 to Tiberias and opened the first hospital for those of any race or religion in two rooms near the Franciscan monastery. A move to Beit abu Shamnel abu Hannah preceded the opening of a new hospital with 24 beds and 6 cots in 1894. He was ordained in the Free Church of Scotland in 1895. During World War I (1914-1918), Dr Torrance served as resident officer in charge of Oakbank War Hospital in the west of Scotland. Dr Torrance married three times and had a large family. He died in Tiberias on 26 August, 1923.

David's son, Herbert Watt Torrance, was born in 1892 and educated at Glasgow University, graduating MB in 1916. He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, served in France and Serbia and was awarded the Military Cross. After demobilisation he returned to Glasgow University as demonstrator and lecturer and to study for the FRCS. In 1921 he was awarded the degree of MD and went to Tiberias where in 1923 he became superintendent of the hospital. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. For services rendered during the British Mandate in Palestine he was awarded the OBE.

Herbert Torrance married twice and had two daughters. Following the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948 the mission hospital in 1949 became a maternity hospital responsible for midwifery and gynaecology in Northern Galilee under the Israeli Department of Health. In 1959 the hospital closed but a hospice for travellers was established in the buildings and a resident minister and bookshop continue the work of mission in Tiberias. Herbert Torrance retired to Dundee in 1953 and died in 1977.

Custodial history:

Immediate source of acquisition: The records were deposited by the Torrance family in 1977 (AccM/32) and by a private depositor in 1998 (AccM/378).

CONTENT AND STRUCTURE

Scope and content/abstract: Photography was an abiding interest for Herbert Watt Torrance. The collection provides a record of the main period of the British Mandate, the increasing rate of Jewish immigration and the impact of the State of Israel on the landscape. It also contains many photographs of medical conditions which subsequently have been eradicated. Dr Torrance's interest in flowers, animals and archaeology is well represented and many photographs show examples of the "biblical situations" popular with photographers. The collection also contains a number of G. Eric Matson and Felix Bonfils photographs.

In particular the collection includes: photographs of the Middle East, particularly Israel, Palestine and the Scottish Mission Hospital at Tiberias, also North Africa 1880-1968, France and Serbia 1916-1918, India 1936, Europe, USA, Canada 1954-1974; subjects are views, the hospital, local people and customs, biblical representations, flora and fauna, medical conditions, World War One; photographs by the Torrance family; professional and commercially produced photographs, postcards, lantern slides, film strips, particularly of Israel, Palestine and Middle East mainly by G Eric Matson of American Colony, c 1920-1972, also "L&L", Photoglob Zurich (photographs derived from Bonfils), and others; notebooks kept by Torrance of flora and fauna, biblical references, local customs, 1929-1973, medical conditions c 1940; rules on nurses' attitude to patients, early 20th century.

System of arrangement: Records are arranged chronologically within series.

ACCESS AND USE

Language: English.

Conditions governing access: Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Conditions governing reproduction: Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges are made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply.

Finding aids: Descriptive list. Subject source lists and databases are also available.

ALLIED MATERIALS

Publication note: Further details about the Torrance Collection and the Torrance family can be found on the Dundee University Archive Services web pages, along with a group photograph showing Dr David Torrance, Tiberias Hospital 1904.

DESCRIPTION NOTES

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Chubb, Archives Hub Project Archivist, October 2001.
Revised by Caroline Brick on behalf of the Mundus Project, November 2002.

Date(s) of descriptions: October 2001; revised November 2002.


INDEX ENTRIES
Subjects
Animals
Arabs
Archaeological sites
Archaeology
Botany
Christians
Cultural heritage
Customs and traditions
Diseases
Ethnic groups
Fauna
Film media
Film strips
Flora
Health services
Hospitals
Indigenous populations
Information media
International conflicts
Jews
Landscape
Medical missionaries
Medical missionary work
Medical sciences
Migration
Mission hospitals
Missionaries
Missionary work
Moslems
Nursing
Open spaces
Ordained missionaries
Pathology
Photographic slides
Photographs
Photography
Protestants
Religious activities
Religious groups
Vegetation
Visual materials
War
World War One, 1914-1918
World war
Zoology

Personal names
Torrance | David Watt | 1862-1923 | Doctor, Free Church of Scotland minister and medical missionary in the Middle East
Torrance | Herbert Watt | 1892-1977 | Doctor and medical missionary in the Middle East

Corporate names
Scottish Mission Hospital | Tiberias, Israel

Places
Africa
Americas
Asia
Canada
Eastern Europe
Europe
France
Greece
India
Iran
Israel
Middle East
North Africa
North America
Palestine
Persia
Serbia
South Asia
Teverya
Tiberias
USA
Western Europe
Yugoslavia