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Collection of recordings (78rpm) of a lecture given by Sir Godfrey Thomson in 1950

Identifier: Coll-1448

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of 5 (lacquer) acetate 78 rpm records containing a recording of a lecture on University teaching given by Godfrey H. Thomson in 1950.


  • Creation: 1950


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Access is restricted due to the format of the material

Biographical / Historical

Henry Stewart Noel McFarland was born in Perth on 25 December 1924. He attended the Western District school in Perth between 1929 and 1936 and then went to the Central Secondary, Aberdeen, from 1936 until 1942, where he was advised to leave his studies due to his very bad eyesight. McFarland never heeded this advice, and studied for the degree of MA in Aberdeen, graduating with honours in English Language and Literature in July 1946.

McFarland then came to Edinburgh to study Education, where he was a student of Godfrey H Thomson's, and graduated from Moray House with the Dip.Ed in July 1947. He was then a member of the Thomson B.Ed group in 1948, graduating in July 1948. Having become a close friend of Thomson, who recognised his talents and capabilities, McFarland joined him in a project on University teaching and learning.

Initially, McFarland had been proposed by Thomson for a post in the Schools Inspectorate, which he didn't get because he was too young. McFarland worked for Thomson for about three years, from 1949 until 1951. It is possible that Thomson was intending to develop university entrance tests, through his Moray House ‘brand’; tests like these had been used in the US since 1901, first as an achievement test and then, by the 1920s, as an aptitude or intelligence test, but they were not used in the UK.

McFarland published several books and articles, as well as contributing to the Hale Report, which is regarded as one of the foundations of the study of university teaching methods. McFarland was a lecturer in the Education department St Andrews University until 1966, when he accepted the post of Professor of Education at the University of Durham. He passed away suddenly in 1973, aged 48.


5 records

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Material acquired 2012. Accession no: E2013.17.

Related Materials

  1. Coll-1310;
  2. Coll-1443;
  3. Coll-1444;
  4. Coll-1445;
  5. Coll-1446;
  6. Coll-1449.



I.J. Deary, M. Lawn, C.E. Brett, A. Pattie, D.J. Bartholomew, Archival Sources for Sir Godfrey Hilton Thomson, History of Psychology, 13:1, (February 2010), 95-104.
M. Lawn, I.J. Deary, Godfrey Thomson and the Rise of University Pedagogical Study, Full text [online]. Godfrey Thomson and the Rise of University Pedagogical Study. Accessed 8 March 2013.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme Eddie 08 March 2013; edited by Emma Anthony, 05 March 2014

Collection of recordings (78rpm) of a lecture given by Sir Godfrey Thomson in 1950
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379