Material relating to the history of engineering (particularly of the 18th and 19th centuries) may be found across our collections, with the following being of particular interest:

  • Kelvin Papers: relating to William Thomson, Baron Kelvin of Largs (1824-1907), Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Glasgow and noted for his pioneering research and inventions in the fields of mechanical energy, heat, navigation and telegraphic communication. His papers include correspondence with some of the leading scientists and physicists of the time.
  • Muirhead and Watt papers: mainly connected with the research, writing and publishing of a biography of the engineer James Watt (1736-1819) including over 900 letters between his son James Watt Jr (1769-1848) and the biographer, James Patrick Muirhead (1813-1898).
  • Murray: a superb regional history collection with a wealth of 17th and 18th century Glasgow imprints and 19th century material on the economic and social development of the West of Scotland (including works on railways, canals and ports).
  • Photography: 19th and early 20th century material including images of engineering projects, particularly the building of railways.  

To search by name or keyword, please use the rare books search (for printed material) and the manuscripts search (for unpublished material including notebooks, papers, photographs and drawings).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

The following web resources and book of the month articles may also be of interest: