First Glasgow graduates searchable online

Published: 5 August 2009

Details of the earliest graduates of the fourth oldest University of the English speaking world are available online for the first time.

Details of the earliest graduates of the fourth oldest University of the English speaking world are available online for the first time.  Glasgow student (1844)

The University of Glasgow Story at provides access to the details of the 13,000 people who graduated from the University of Glasgow from its foundation in 1451 until 1896.

Lesley Richmond, Director of Archive Services said: "This is a fantastic resource for family historians. University Graduates to 1896 opens up the University’s archives to researchers around the world so that research that would have previously required contact with Archive Services can now be carried out online." 

The very first graduates of the University were Nicholaus Bully, Michael Levinstone and Alexander Levinstone, who all graduated Bachelors of Arts in 1451. 

University Graduates to 1896 provides access to other notable ‘first’ graduates from the University, including Alexander Sinclair, the first international graduate.  Alexander, who graduated Masters of Arts in 1461, was born in Orkney in the 1440s when it was under Norwegian rule. 

Other notable graduates include: James McCune Smith, the first African-American to practise medicine in the United States of America, studied at the University in the 1830s, graduating with his medical degree (MD) in 1837.  The thirteen women who graduated from the University from 1894 until 1896, including Marion Gilchrist, the first female graduate, who graduated with her medical degree (MB CM) in 1894.  The Old College (1680)

Alongside the records of the University’s eminent and well-known graduates are the records of the men and women who studied at the University and went on to make a significant contribution to their local communities. 

To support the records of their graduation, Archive Services are working on building up biographies of selected graduates.  Basic biographical details are available for a number of graduates from the seventeenth centuries onwards, allowing researchers to build up fuller pictures of their ancestors lives. 

Archives welcome details from descendants of these graduates to help them provide additional biographies online.

Further information:

Lesley Richmond, Director of Archive Services 
University of Glasgow Tel: 0141 330 2089

Martin Shannon, Media Relations Officer
University of Glasgow Tel: 0141 330 8593

First published: 5 August 2009

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