Henry Dyer Collection Henry Dyer Collection
Detail from Festival in Oji, near the old city centre
Ichiyusai Toyokuni. Colour woodblock print.
Ignored in Britain and forgotten for generations in Japan, Henry Dyer played a crucial part in the spectacular industrial and economic achievements of 20th century Japan. Born in Bothwell in 1848, he served an apprenticeship with James Aitken & Co. in Cranstonhill before attending Glasgow University. At the age of 24 - having just completed his studies - he was invited to become the Principal of the new Imperial College of Engineering in Tokyo and spent the next 10 years turning it into the most advanced institute of its kind in the world.
He received the Order of the Rising Sun (Third Class) from the Emperor before returning to Glasgow, where he was elected as chairman of the School Board of Glasgow and received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Glasgow.
Bequeathed by Dyer's family to The Mitchell Library in the 1920s, most of the 6,000 items have been added to library stock; these items have a special emphasis on Glasgow, Scotland and Japanese life. The Japanese scrolls and albums have been kept together to form a special collection in their own right.
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