Material relating to the history of Glasgow can be found across our collections, particularly the following: 

  • 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 (for example, works on banking, railways, canals and ports), publications relating to the administration of the city of Glasgow and the University, engraved topographical works, maps, some Scottish newspapers, directories and periodicals
  • Smith: an unrivalled collection of rare Glasgow pamphlets and some 5,000 items of ephemera (eg posters, advertisements) relating to the history of Glasgow
  • Wylie: almost 1,000 volumes relating to the history and topography of Glasgow and surrounding area from the 18th century to the early 1900s.

Researchers interested in Glasgow's history are also advised to consult the outstanding resources of the city's Mitchell Library. Most records documenting the history of the University and its management, staff and students, from 1451 to the present day, are held by Archive Services. They also have extensive collections of historical business records, including much of the archive of Scottish industries such as banking, retail, distilling and shipbuilding.

Specific aspects of life in Glasgow (for example, education, politics and social history) are illustrated in the following:

  • Broady: Socialist material from the 1930s to the 1950s including publications dealing with post-war recovery plans for Glasgow
  • John Walter Gregory papers: a collection of eyewitness accounts of the 1910 Glasgow earthquake
  • MacCallum Scott papers: early 20th century papers of the Liberal MP for the Bridgeton constituency of Glasgow, including material on the history of Clydesdale and on student life in Glasgow in the early 1890s
  • McFarlane: papers from the 1880s through to the 1920s of an active member of the Glasgow Parliamentary Debating Association
  • Photographic collections: including photographs of Glasgow, from the mid 19th century onwards
  • James Robertson: letters to a Professor of Hebrew and Semitic languages at the University of Glasgow, 1864-1885
  • Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow: papers including minutes, publications and photographs that illustrate the Society’s growth and activities
  • John Stirling Letters: correspondence written between 1684 and 1726 mainly to John Stirling (Principal of the University of Glasgow from 1701-1727) dealing with Glasgow University matters and other Scottish affairs
  • Thirteen Club: papers relating to a Glasgow dining club, founded in 1891



To search across all our collections, 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).


Web exhibitions featuring material relating to Glasgow: