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Spence archive lands huge grant

The Heritage Lottery Fund has granted £975,000 for the conservation, display and dissemination of the archive of Basil Spence.

The money will go towards housing the collection at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Spence, who lived from 1907 to 1976, had strong connections with Scotland, studying at Edinburgh College of Art and starting his practice there before moving to London.

Among Spence's most well-known work north of the border is the Queen Elizabeth Square housing development in Glasgow, which he worked on between 1960 and 1965.

There are more than 100,000 items in his archive, which, in addition to drawings, contains letters, including a correspondence with Jackie Kennedy about the design of the Kennedy Memorial, plus Spence's diaries and student work.

It is expected that the collection will form the basis of a centenary exhibition in 2007 at the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

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