Michael Moss

Biography of Michael Moss

Michael Moss
Michael Moss

Michael Moss was University Archivist from 1974 until 2001.

He was then Research Professor in Archival Studies in the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute, now Information Studies, where he was director of the Information Management and Preservation MSc programme which took its first students in 2004, until he left the University in 2013.

Michael was educated at the University of Oxford and trained as an archivist in the department of Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library there. He came to Glasgow in 1970, to become Registrar of the National Register of Archives (Scotland) Western Survey, based in the department of Scottish History at the University of Glasgow. (Although his childhood had been spent in the south west of England, he had family connections to Glasgow through his parents: his mother was a Glasgow medical graduate, and his father, a naval chaplain, had visited the Clyde many times during the war).

His role as Registrar was to locate records held in private hands which could be looked after by archive repositories such as Glasgow City Archives and the University. As this was a time of industrial collapse, there was plenty of tactful rescue work to be done - read about it in Michael's own words in both the article "Death on the Clyde" and Scottish Industrial History (pp.338-346 of this pdf).

Bringing business archives in to the University continued to be feature of Michael's working life, with the addition of writing company histories, after he was appointed University Archivist following the death of David Wilson Reid and day-to-day management of the business collections was transferred from the department of Economic History to the University Archives. He also oversaw the move of the business collections to Thurso St in 1989, with the university archive collection following.

He was actively involved in researching across many areas including theory and practice of archives and records management, the history of the University of Glasgow and Scottish Higher Education, Shipbuilding, Whisky, and Scottish Industry. You can access his Glasgow academic publications through Enlighten.

He was a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Council on National Archives and Records, the Forum on Historical Manuscripts and Archival Research and a member of the peer review college of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

During his time as director of the IMP programme, Michael was involved in teaching over 200 students, educating the next generation of archivists who went on to work all over the world. He was a lively and inspiring teacher who is fondly remembered by former colleagues and students.

Michael left the University in 2013 to take up a position as Professor of Archival Science at the University of Northumbria.

He died on 9th February 2021 aged 73, following a brief illness.


Michael Moss
Archivist and Historian

Died 9 February 2021.
GU Degree:
University Link: Professor
Occupation categories: archivists; historians
Record last updated: 2nd Mar 2021

University Connections

University Roles

  • Professor

Academic Posts