Records of The Hunterian (1807- ), University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

Administrative, exhibition and events records including:  

  • Minutes, agendas and papers, 1769-1975;
  • Financial papers, 1783-1896;
  • Correspondence, 1783-1931;
  • Visitors' Books, 1908-1976;
  • Reports, 1783-1972;
  • Publications, 1812-2011;
  • Exhibitions and events material, 1895-2012;
  • Photographs, prints and negatives, late 20th century;
  • Compact discs, c1980s.

Administrative / Biographical History

Founded in  1807 ,  The Hunterian is Scotland's oldest public museum and home to one of the largest collections outside the National Museums. The Hunterian is one of the leading university museums in the world and its collections have been Recognised as a Collection of National Significance.

The Hunterian is the legacy of  Dr William Hunter (1718-1783), pioneering obstetrician and teacher with a passion for collecting, who studied at the  University of Glasgow from 1731 to 1736.‌ In  1783  Hunter bequeathed his substantial collections of anatomical and pathological preparations, coins, books, manuscripts, botanical, geological and other materials to the University of Glasgow. He also gifted £8,000 towards the cost of building a museum in which to house his vast collection, which the University named the "Hunterian" in his honour.

The Hunterian Museum opened its doors in 1807 at it's first site, a classical style building designed by William Stark, in the east end near Glasgow Cathedral. In 1870, when the University moved to Gilmorehill, in the west end, the Hunterian collections were relocated to a custom-built museum in the Gilbert Scott Building. The collections have grown considerably since the Museum's foundation, and now include some of the most important work by artists such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh and James McNeill Whistler, as well as superb books, manuscripts, geological, zoological, anatomical, archaeological, ethnographic and scientific instrument collections. A new Collection Study Centre opened at the Kelvin Hall in 2016.


Generally arranged chronologically within record series

Access Information

The vast majority of records are open, however some items are restricted due to Data Protection. Please contact the duty archivist to apply for permission to view, email:

Acquisition Information

University of Glasgow

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Any work intended for publication that is based on research from this collection must be approved in advance. Apply in the first instance to Archives and Special Collections, email:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

Retained in the custody of the University of Glasgow


Further accessions are expected

Related Material

  • GB 247 MR: Records of the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Scotland
  • GB 247 MS Hunter: Papers and manuscripts from the library of William Hunter, 1718-1783, anatomist
  • GB 247 MS Gen 1000: Copy of the last will and testament with codicil of William Hunter, 1718-1783, anatomist and obstetrician
  • GB 812 HB14/13: Records of Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland : Hunterania

Location of Originals

This material is original


Keppie, L J F, William Hunter and the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, 1807-2007. Edinburgh:  Edinburgh University Press ,  2007 .

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999and National Council on Archives, Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level description compiled by Kirsty Menzies, Catalogue Data Assistant, 19 October 2017.

Geographical Names