We have significant holdings of material relating to political history. Our collection strengths lie in papers and books dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries - particularly left wing political movements, with an emphasis on Scotland. The main collections of interest are listed below but other relevant material may be located by using the rare books search (for printed items) and the manuscripts search (for unpublished material such as correspondence and papers).

General Politics

  • Bonar: 21 books from the library of the philosopher and economist Adam Smith (1723-1790), supplemented by volumes on political economy from the library of James Bonar (1852-1941)
  • J.S.C. (Joint Standing Committee): 500 pamphlets, broadsides and books printed in the UK from 1690-1699, including a large number of political tracts
  • MacCallum Scott: papers of politician Alexander MacCallum Scott (1874-1928) including correspondence with constituents and contemporaries (with some materials on the Suffragette movement), drafts of speeches, political diaries, and journals of visits abroad
  • McFarlane: political documents and papers from the 1880s to the 1920s, including material on Irish Home Rule, tariff reforms and the eight hour day

Scottish Politics

  • Beaconsfield Club (Paisley) Papers: 392 manuscript letters and political addresses, mainly relating to the Paisley Beaconsfield Club and Conservative Association, 1880-1905
  • Bissett: left wing pamphlets, including a number of scarce local imprints (for example, publications of the Bakunin Press and the Strickland Press in Glasgow)
  • Broady: Socialist material with an emphasis on the Independent Labour Party, the anarchist Guy Aldred (1886-1963) and publications dealing with post-War recovery plans for Glasgow
  • MacCallum Scott: papers of Alexander MacCallum Scott (1874-1928), who became Liberal MP for the Bridgeton constituency of Glasgow in 1910
  • McFarlane: political documents and papers from the 1880s to the 1920s of Archibald McFarlane (fl 1884-1924), active in the Glasgow Parliamentary Debating Association, Temple Conservative association and the National Union of Conservative Associations for Scotland

British Left wing movements

  • Bissett: some 1,500 Left-Wing pamphlets ranging in date from the late 19th to late 20th centuries
  • Broady: over 400 Socialist pamphlets, broadsheets, election manifestoes and posters from the 1930s to the 1950s, with an emphasis on the Independent Labour Party, and the writings of the anarchist Guy Aldred
  • Carmichael: about 100 Socialist books and pamphlets from the library of James Carmichael (1894-1966), Labour MP for the Bridgeton division of Glasgow (1947 to 1961)
  • Farmer: includes material on socialism and trade unions
  • Left Book Club: 214 editions of socialist literature published from 1932 to 1946

American Politics

  • Brogan: small collection of works on American political history by Sir Denis William Brogan (1900-1974)

French Politics

  • Brogan: small collection of works on French political history by Sir Denis William Brogan (1900-1974)
  • Caricatures: 3,188 political caricatures (mainly lithographs) covering the Franco-Prussian War, the Paris Commune of 1871 and the later years of the 1870s
  • Farmer: includes material on the Paris Commune
  • Gautherin: some 60 books (mainly in French) relating to Vichy France

Soviet Politics (incuding Communism, Trotskyism and Marxism)

  • Bissett: includes works by authors such as Tolstoy, Marx, Trotsky, Lenin and Kropotkin
  • Glasgow Central Committee Archive: transcripts of interviews with members of the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) Central Committee, undertaken in 1992-1993 by the Soviet Elites Project
  • Schlesinger: papers of Marxist theoretician, including lectures, drafts and revisions for books and articles on Soviet history, legal system and political theory, memoirs and some material relating to the German Communist Party in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Trotsky: some 1800 editions of Trotsky’s works in 40 languages, accompanied by several hundred periodical and newspaper issues; supplemented by some secondary source material

Web exhibitions of related material:

  • Leon Trotsky: highlights significant works from the Trotsky collection
  • Slavonic Studies: includes some political material (course material page)