Records of Glasgow Philosophical Society, learned society, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Minute books 1871-1913
  • Jurors report for Gas and Electricity Exhibition 1880

Administrative / Biographical History

Glasgow Philosophical Society was founded in  1802 , the Society was later known as the Philosophical Society of Glasgow and was created the  Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow by King Edward VII on the occasion of the Society’s centenary in  1902 . The Society was established for the improvement of the Arts and Sciences in Glasgow. It set up a select library of scientific books and invited members to give scientific papers, and to exhibit models and artefacts at regular meetings. These meetings were held weekly in the winter months and fortnightly in the summer months. The society was administered by an elected council, which included a President and Vice-President, and from 1812 a librarian joined the ranks to oversee the running of the Society’s library. The Society resided at various addresses until 1831, when a room in the Andersonian University, Ingram Street, Glasgow, Scotland was acquired. Meetings were held there until 1868 when the society moved to the new Corporation Galleries in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. Then in 1880, a new building was built in Bath Street, Glasgow, which housed the society and the  Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland. During the 20th century the Society’s membership experienced a decline and subsequently its assets were either sold off or dispersed. In 2003, the Society’s descendant body The Royal Philosophical Society is still active.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited by Professor John Lenihan, May 1978, ACCN 4350

Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at the  University of Glasgow Library, Department of Special Collections, searching by the call numbers MS Gen 1478, MS Gen 1479, MS Gen 1480, or MS Gen 1481

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Elaine MacGillivray, Archives Assistant, July 2003.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Special Collections.

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

GB 247 MS Gen 1631-1633 Records of Glasgow Philosophical Society,  University of Glasgow Library, Department of Special Collections, GB 247 MS Gen 1639 Records of Glasgow Philosophical Society, University of Glasgow Library, Department of Special Collections, GB 0247 MS Gen 1633 & MS Gen 1638 Records of Glasgow Philosophical Society,  University of Glasgow Library, Department of Special Collections GB 248 DC118 Records of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow, Glasgow University Archive Services.

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material