Over 1,000 examples of the chapbooks genre may be found in Special Collections, dispersed throughout the collections.

The main recreational reading matter of the poor in the 18th and 19th Centuries, these ephemeral booklets are incredibly diverse in subject matter and contain everything from the popular songs of the day to weird and wonderful accounts of meetings with mermaids. The Wylie Collection, for example, is a rich source for chapbooks of Scottish interest.

The chapbooks search that records details of chapbooks (including different items - such as ballads - within each publication) from the University of Glasgow and other Scottish libraries is no longer avaiable. However, all the data will be shortly made available via the University of Galsgow's institutional repository to enable continuing access. 

How to find material in the Chapbooks collection

  • Browse through a list of chapbook titles found using the rare books search
  • Use the chapbooks database hosted on Enlighten: it records chapbooks published in Scotland with full details of their contents and lists over 4,500 titles. As well as records from University of Glasgow Library, records from Edinburgh Central Library, the National Library of Scotland and University of Stirling are also included.
  • Browse a list of chapbook related subjects (click on a subject for a list of titles)