Material relating to economics and the history of economic thought can be found in several collections:

  • Bannerman Papers: includes original letters to and from the economist and philosopher Adam Smith (1723-1790), author of The Wealth of Nations 
  • Bissett: large collection of left-wing pamphlets, late 19th to 20th centuries, covering a wide range of subjects, including economics
  • Bonar: books from the library of political economist James Bonar (1852-1941) and his letters to the economist George Findlay Shirras (1885-1955)
  • Murray: 19th century material relating to the economic and social development of the West of Scotland (for example, works on banking, railways, canals and ports)
  • William Robert Scott: papers of a Professor of Political Economy (1915-1940) at the University of Glasgow, relating to his work on Adam Smith and economic questions of the early 20th century
  • Spencer: 17th century material relating to the economic disaster of the Darien scheme (the attempt to found a Scots trading colony in the isthmus of Panama, Central America).

A detailed guide to archives, manuscripts and rare books relating to 18th century economic thought is available here:

  • Adam Smith research resources‌: research resources in the University of Glasgow relating to the economist and philosopher Adam Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment (PDF).

The following web exhibition highlights relevant material:

To search across all our collections by name or keyword, use the rare books search (for printed material) and the manuscripts search (for unpublished material including notebooks, papers, photographs and drawings).

See also the webpages for Archive Services who hold one of the largest collections of historical business records in Europe, including much of the archive of Scottish industries such as banking, retail, distilling and shipbuilding.