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Colin Dorrance Papers

An inventory of his papers at the Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives at Syracuse University


Creator: Dorrance, Colin.
Title: Colin Dorrance Papers
Dates: circa 2013-2018
Size: 3 linear feet
Abstract: Materials related to Colin Dorrance, a first responder to the crash of Pan Am Flight 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland as an officer of the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary
Language: English
Repository: Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Ave., Suite 600
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010


Photograph of Colin Dorrance

Colin Dorrance was an eighteen-year-old probationary officer with the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary in 1988 and was one of the first officers on the scene following the crash of Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988. He is a graduate of Lockerbie Academy and was in the town for a party on the night of the crash.

Dorrance served with Police Scotland for 30 years and has hosted and given tours to Syracuse University students, faculty, and staff who visit Lockerbie. His retirement in 2018 coincided with the 30th Anniversary of the crash, and Dorrance wanted to do something special to honor the victims and celebrate the close connection that has formed between Lockerbie and Syracuse University as a result of the disaster. Dorrance organized a memorial cycling trip called Cycle to Syracuse that covered 3,238 miles, the distance from Lockerbie to Syracuse University, and symbolically serve to complete the journey that the victims of the crash were unable to complete. Four Scottish first responders, Dorrance, David Walpole, David Whalley, and Paul Rae, and the headteacher at Lockerbie Academy, Brian Asher, participated in the cycling trip. The trip had various legs in Scotland, including trips to primary schools to teach students about the disaster, and a ride with eighty other cyclists from Lockerbie to Edinburgh Castle. The major leg in the United States went from the Memorial Cairn at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. to the Place of Remembrance memorial at Syracuse University. Upon finishing the trip, Dorrance and the other cyclists participated in the Rose Laying Ceremony and other Remembrance Week activities.

Dorrance's two children were Lockerbie Scholars at Syracuse University. His daughter, Claire, in 2012-2013, and his son, Andrew, in 2017-2018. In 2019, Dorrance was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of his services in Law and Order, the Remembrance of Pan Am Flight 103, and charity.

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Scope and Content Note

The Colin Dorrance Papers contains a photograph of Tundergarth Memorial Room taken by Colin Dorrance and his Police Scotland uniform and cap.

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Alternative Formats

Selected materials from this collection have been digitized. Please contact the archivist for further information on accessing the materials.

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Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions for this collection.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from the Pan Am Flight 103 Archives and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Two DVDs containing the BBC's "Days that Shook The World: Black September and Lockerbie," BBC news footage from December 22, 1988, "Working with Families" and "A Short Film" by Colin Dorrance have been separated from this collection and added to the Pan Am 103 Audiovisual Collection.

The Pan Am Flight 103 Archives contains additional materials and information related to the Colin Dorrance Papers. Related collections include:

Pan Am 103 Anniversaries Collection

Pan Am Flight 103 Audiovisual Collection

Pan Am 103 Individuals Collection

Pan Am 103 Story Archives Collection

Police Scotland Collection

Remembrance and Lockerbie Scholars Collection

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Selected Search Terms


Dorrance, Colin.
Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary.
Syracuse University -- History.
Syracuse University.


Pan Am Flight 103 Bombing Incident, 1988.
Terrorism -- Government Policy -- United States -- Case Studies.
Terrorism -- Government Policy -- United States -- History.
Terrorism -- Government Policy -- United States.
Terrorism -- History -- 20th Century.
Lockerbie (Scotland)

Types of material

Caps (headgear)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Colin Dorrance Papers,
Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Colin Dorrance in 2013 and 2018.

Processing Information

Materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: Vanessa L. St.Oegger-Menn
Date: March 2015
Revision history: January 2016 - Inventory added (VSOM); May 2021 - Oversize 1 and 2 added, biography updated (EMB); September 2022 - Medals deaccessioned and returned to donor (VSOM)

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FC 2-3 Photograph of Tundergarth Memorial Room taken by Colin Dorrance circa 2013
 Tundergarth Memorial Room in the snow.
Oversize 2 Police Scotland cap 2018
Oversize 1 Police Scotland uniform 2018

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