University of Glasgow student records
Student records vary considerably with time. This is largely due to different record keeping practices over the centuries. Generally the records of students from the mid-19th century onwards give more detail than those created in the first 400 years of the University’s existence.
It is also worth noting that until the mid-19th century, many students did not bother to go through the formalities of matriculation and especially graduation. Instead, they would attend various classes and if necessary, for future employment purposes, obtain a certificate directly from individual Professors. This means that while a student may have attended the University of Glasgow in this period, but not left any record of their study in the University Archive.
In 1858 the Universities (Scotland) Act made matriculation compulsory. Therefore if a person’s name, or any variations of their name, cannot be found, they were not a student of the University of Glasgow. They may, nevertheless, have studied at one of the several other colleges and Universities in the City. As a starting point, we suggest you contact University of Strathclyde Archives, to see if the person studied at the University or one of its predecessors.
The names of graduates of the University up to a hundred years ago can be found on the University of Glasgow Story.
The following printed books containing the names of graduates and matriculated students to 1897 are available in many major libraries and online (please note: the University of Glasgow is not responsible for creating or maintaining these online copies):
- W Innes Addison, A Roll of the Graduates of the University of Glasgow from 31 December 1727 to 31 December 1897 (Glasgow, 1898). (Available online here).
- W Innes Addison, The Matriculation Albums of the University of Glasgow from 1728 to 1858 (Glasgow, 1913). (Available online here).
- Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis. Records of the University of Glasgow : from its foundation till 1727 (Glasgow: [Maitland Club], 1854) – 4 volumes (index in 4th). Students are listed in volume 2 (available online here) and volume 3 (available online here). The index of names (and a list of the Regents - the early teaching staff) is available online here.
- W Innes Addison, Prize Lists of the University of Glasgow from Session 1777-78 to Session 1832-33 (Glasgow, 1902). (Available online here).
Lists of the names of graduates were published annually in the University of Glasgow Calendar until 1977 (this is available in major libraries).
There is guidance on researching Ministers of all Scottish denominations on the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine site.
The main source of student records before 1858 is the Clerk’s Press.
The main source of student records after 1858 is the records of the Registry.
Accessing the records
- Make an appointment to visit
- Search the records of graduates to a hundred years ago online at www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/alumni
- Request a basic search for your ancestor (free) - if the search is successful you will be given the opportunity to commission an advanced search (fee payable)
Records of alumni who are still alive
The majority of information held on living alumni is regarded as confidential under the terms of the Data Protection Act. Almost all requests for information from, or about, living alumni are handled by the Alumni Office or Student Services Enquiry Team.
The Alumni Office help with reunions or putting lost friends in contact.
Student Services Enquiry Team provides transcripts, replacement parchments and certifying letters.