The Albert Institute (now the McManus, Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum) was established in 1867 as the first civic museum and art gallery in Dundee. It was funded entirely through public subscription with 261 subscribers pledging £15,770 in 1863. By February 1865 the number of subscribers had increased to 327 and share capital totalled £21,470. Read more...

This project was set up by the McManus 168 Group (Supporters of The McManus) to mark the 150th anniversary of The McManus and to shed new light on Dundee’s history and heritage by discovering more about the men and women that gave so generously.

One of the Original Subscribers

James Neish of The Laws gave £50 towards the building of The Albert Institute. James Neish of 'The Laws' was one of the innovative manufacturers who firmly established the jute industry in Dundee in the 1830s. He held a number of public posts and, after retiring, gained a reputation as an amateur archaeologist .

Read more about James Neish of The Laws...

ABOUT

From June 2017 to June 2018, the project brought together all the heritage groups in Dundee supported by an expert project planning team with academics, genealogists, archivists, the library service and Leisure and Culture Dundee, project managers and history enthusiasts.

We recruited 30 expert lead researchers and a further 75 novice researchers, ranging in age from 16 to 84 and from right across Dundee. Together they collected information on the subscribers among which were, manufacturers, nautical instrument makers, grocers, hecklers, waiters, ship’s chandlers, dyers, bleachers, and flax spinners. View in the Subscriber Archive....

Watch interviews with McManus168 researchers and find out more about the project...

Made by Lopo de Homen around 1555, The Dundee Astrolabe is an amazing object. It was used by sailors as a navigational instrument to measure the angle of the sun or a star above the horizon. It is the oldest known astrolabe of its type in the world, which makes it internationally significant.

Courtesy of The McManus Collections. Copyright: Dundee City Council (Dundee's Art Galleries and Museums)