Janet McBain

Biography of Janet McBain

Janet McBain
Janet McBain

Janet McBain was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) from the University of Glasgow during the Commemoration Day ceremony on 15th June 2016.

Janet McBain was born 12th April 1954 in Edinburgh. Prior to her work in the Scottish Screen Archive Janet McBain was a trainee at Glasgow University Archives and then surveying officer in the west of Scotland for the National Register of Archives. In the latter post she rescued the archives of companies who were closing down as well as listing collections that were to remain in private hands.

Janet worked as the Archive Curator for the Scottish Screen Archive from 1976-2011. She started on a six month contract, the work part of a job creation scheme at the Scottish Film Council. At the beginning the films were stored in a garden shed; within the first six months she had collected over four thousand cans of film and it was clear that she would be working there for longer than her initial contract. She has overseen massive changes in the archive, including making the films available online and its growth to over thirty-two thousand films. As well as preserving film, she was also on it; presenting ‘Attic Archives’ and ‘The Way it Was’ and contributing to ‘Scotland on Film’.

In 2006 she was awarded a Scottish BAFTA for Outstanding Achievement in Film for her work as Curator of the Scottish Screen Archive. She is known as an expert on Scottish film and as well as her work with the Scottish Screen Archive she was also on the Film Archive Forum UK and the Scottish Council on Archives.


Janet McBain
Born 12 April 1954.
University Link: Honorary Graduate
GU Degree: DLitt, 2016;
Occupation categories: archivists
Record last updated: 16th Jun 2016

University Connections

University Roles

  • Honorary Graduate

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