Old Dundee Photos & Film

City of Dundee Scotland local history old photos vintage film

Dundee is famous for its 19th century jute production, which propelled the trading port into Scotland’s fourth largest city. In the same era Great Britain’s first commercial marmalade producer, Dundee-based James Keiller & Son, mass produced Dundee cake, using a widespread Scottish recipe. 

The city has undergone dramatic transformation since the end of the local jute trade. Today it’s home to the University of Dundee, Captain Scott’s Antarctic expedition ship RRS Discovery, 19th-century warship HM Frigate Unicorn, and Scotland’s first design museum, the V&A Dundee. 

Moreover, 10% of the United Kingdom’s digital entertainment industry, including mobile app development and gaming, is reportedly based in the city, which in 2014 was recognised by the United Nations as the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design for its diverse contributions to fields including medical research, comics and video games.

Dundee Over Time

“Old Dundee Streets”

A fascinating range of locations, time periods and activity. From YouTube channel whatgoesaround70.

The Jute Mill Workers In 1912

“Factory workers leaving Camperdown jute mill in Dundee, 1912”

From the Scottish Screen Archive collection, and uploaded by the National Library of Scotland, comes a short clip of jute mill factory workers coming out of the factory gates in 1912. The tram and the horse and cart struggle to get through the crowds.

A Look Back At History In The 1930s


There are so many fascinating aspects to this short film, lasting just over nine minutes. The accents, the industrial history, the steam trains in action, very young teenagers working in factories, seeing the processing of jute when it was still a major source of employment, and the many different views of the city at the time.

The tongue-in-cheek contempt of the locals for their visitor is still funny today.

A City of Trams In The 1950s

“Dundee, 1950’s – Film 33111”

The quality of this HuntleyFilmArchives isn’t great because they watermark it to stop it being copied. However there are a lot of lovely scenes showing the trams negotiating their way through the streets.

A Changing City In The 1960s

“Dundee in the mid-1960s”

Using black and white photographs from the 1960s, YouTube channel lordpitnolen created a video slideshow showing the city at a time of great change.  Includes: 

  • Construction of Tay Road Bridge
  • Demolition of the old Overgate
  • Building of the Angus Hotel and Overgate shopping centre, 
  • Construction of the (already demolished) Caroline Port Power Station
  • Views from Dundee, Camperdown House, and Dundee Harbour

“Auld Dundee in Colour .wmv”

A lovely collection of colour photographs showing a wide range of locations, many of them with people going about their daily lives.

Town And Gown In The 1970s


Not only does this short film from hooly dundee capture the main shopping area before it significantly changed, but many local people also appear. 

“Live and Learn in Tayside 1977”

Made available as part of the University’s 50th century celebrations, this half-hour film from the archives shows lots of students in flares and taking part in a wide range of activities.

Dundee In The 1980s

“Dundee Jute Stowers – 1980’s”

This short film from hooly dundee shows a working environment long gone. The introduction and commentary are highly informative and saves this knowledge for future generations.

Local Buses In The 1990s


A trailer for a 76 minute DVD showing buses at work in the city in 1992. Lots of pedestrians appear, some of them close to the camera.

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