Fonds VH - Vera Hiddleston papers

Identity area

Reference code



Vera Hiddleston papers


  • 1937-2006 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

28 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Vera Hiddleston, OBE, was a pioneer in social work training, an experienced child care specialist and key figure in the development of the social work sector during the 1960s-1970s, a period of significant change within the Scottish system.
Vera Hiddleston was born on 27 October 1931 and grew up in the Stirlingshire village of Airth. She was a dux of Stirling High School. In 1953 she graduated from Edinburgh University with an MA (Hons) in History went on to complete a diploma in Social Study in 1954.
After qualifying Hiddleston worked for several years as Senior Child Care Officer in Mid Lothian, East Lothian and Peebles children’s department and was one of three supervisors on the Edinburgh child-care course. Hiddleston became the first director of the Scottish Probation Officers' Training Course and established professional probation training in Scotland in the 1960s. In 1967 she became a lecturer, then head of the Division of Social Work at Jordanhill College of Education.
Hiddleston was a member of the Scottish Advisory Council in Child Care (1960-62) and the Council for Training and Education in Social Work (1968-70). She also chaired the Scottish social workers’ parliamentary group, lobbying political parties in the House of Commons and constituency MPs on the need for integrated local authority social work departments. She later became chair of the management committee of the Centre for the Study of Child Abuse. In 1975 Vera Hiddleston was awarded an OBE for services to social work.
In November 2006 she gave a paper on the Social Work (Scotland) Act in 1968 to the Social Work History Network at Edinburgh University. The paper detailed her views on the development of social work in Scotland and the impact of the 1964 Kilbrandon Report in creating integrated local authority social work departments.
Vera Hiddleston died at Galashiels on 27 April 2017 at the age of 85 years.

Archival history

The papers were held in Vera Hiddleston's house prior to their move to Glasgow Caledonian University.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The papers were gifted by Vera Hiddleston in 2008 and October 2014.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection covers papers kept by Vera Hiddleston whilst working in the social work sector. The papers have been arranged into 10 series reflecting the publications she kept, her roles in training for social workers, in child care and on committees and services she served, including:

  • Government acts and reports relating to social work, child care, local authority services and sick and disabled persons, 1937-1978
  • Child care and training related reports, circulars, newspaper articles and talks, 1948-2002
  • Papers relating to the developing role of the social worker, 1952-2006
  • Training in social work related reports and consultative documents, 1955-1987
  • Association of Child Care Officers (ACCO) meetings, events, annual reports and printed material, 1957-1971
  • Journals and newsletters relating to social work and child care, 1958-1975
  • Published social work books, reports and pamphlets, 1959-1992
  • Scottish Advisory Council on Child Care (SACCC) meetings, correspondence and leaflets, 1960-1963
  • Child abuse reports, studies and enquiries, 1974-1992
  • Elderly care studies, 1987-1989

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


None expected.

System of arrangement

The collection has been arranged into 2 series by organisation, 3 series by publications, and 5 series on activities and research.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open although access to some records may be restricted by data protection legislation.
Where this is applicable it has been included at file level.

Conditions governing reproduction

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Language of material

  • English

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Allied materials area

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Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

See also Vera Hiddleston's notes and papers, c1960-1990, relating to her post as director of social work at Jordanhill College of Education, Reference Acc 1447, at University of Strathclyde Archives.

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