Archives and Research

A Life of Industry

The Photography of John R Hume

A person standing on a slipway watching a boat as it sails down the river

John R Hume is Scotland's foremost expert on industrial heritage. John's greatest passion was – and is – industry. Over the course of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, he took over 25,000 photographs of late-industrial and post-industrial Scotland. His collection is a remarkable portrait of a way of life that has now all but vanished. His drive to act as a witness to Scotland's industrial empire, and its steady disintegration, took him to every corner of the country. 

John’s photography produces an exhaustive and objective record. Yet it also reveals remarkable and poignant glimpses of domestic life – children playing in factory ruins, high-rises emerging on the city skylines, working men and women dwarfed by the incredible scale of an already crumbling industrial infrastructure. 

In A Life of Industry, author Daniel Gray tells John's story, and the story of what has been lost – and preserved.

  • Audiences:

    Members, Visitors, Conservation and Heritage Enthusiasts
  • Date Published:

    05 August 2021
  • Publication Types:

    Book (General)
  • Author(s):

    Daniel Gray

    Author: Daniel Gray is the author of eight books including 'Homage to Caledonia', 'Stramash' and 'Scribbles in the Margins'. He has written for various newspapers, magazines and documentaries, and from 2016 to 2018 was Writer-in-Residence across the Scottish New Towns for the Edinburgh International Book Festival. He has given talks in hundreds of venues, regularly chairs events, anchors a fortnightly podcast and recently presented short history films for STV.

    John R Hume

    Photographer: John R Hume’s photographic output is now a significant part of the HES archive, providing a unique perspective on Scotland
  • Format(s):

    ISBN: 9781849173094
    176pp 279 x 216mm
  • Language:

  • Subjects:

    Scotland, Photographs