Records of the Glasgow School of Cookery, teacher training school, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Minutes and papers of meetings of the Committee of Directors 1875-1878
  • Register of diplomas 1905-1909
  • School prospectuses 1875-1908
  • Scrapbook of recipes 1870s-1880s
  • Photographs of the School’s tearoom and students at the Great Exhibition 1888
  • Medal presented to the School at the Glasgow East End Industrial Exhibition, 1903-1904

Administrative / Biographical History

The Glasgow School of Cookery, Glasgow, Scotland, was established in 1875 , opening to the public on 21 February 1876. In 1908 , the Glasgow School of Cookery amalgamated with the West End School of Cookery, Glasgow, to form a Scottish Central Institution called the Glasgow & West of Scotland College of Domestic Science (Incorporated), later The Queen’s College, Glasgow.

The School’s first premises were at The Albert Hall, 285 Bath Street, Glasgow, but by the time of its amalgamation with the West End School of Cookery it had moved to premises at 86 Bath Street, 504 Sauchiehall Street and 1 Victoria Crescent. Initially the School hoped to educate young working class women in culinary skills as a contribution to the improvement of family life among lower income groups. This approach however was not very successful although the daytime courses for better-off women were priced to subsidise the cost of the evening classes for working women. A new strategy was adopted which promoted culinary education within the board schools and this proved a successful initiative eventually resulting in the School being responsible for the training of teachers as part of the Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training & Certification of Teachers from 1906. Subjects taught initially included superior cookery, plain cookery and cookery for the working classes although in time the syllabus expanded to include diplomas in cookery, laundry, housewifery, dressmaking, needlework and millinery. The School not only taught teachers’ diplomas but also provided demonstrations and lectures for the public. These public classes were attended by women and girls of all social backgrounds.

Grace Chalmers Paterson (1843-1925) was the first principal and driving force behind the Glasgow School of Cookery and her role was on an organisational level as opposed to being actively involved in the teaching duties of the School. She was replaced by Ella Glaister in March 1908 although she still remained active within the school until June of that year.

In 1876, the Glasgow School, along with representatives from Edinburgh, Scotland; Liverpool and Leeds, England, formed themselves into the Northern Union of Training Schools of Cookery to institute uniform standards and common examinations for teachers of cookery. This body became known as The National Council for Domestic Studies and all the schools initially involved were subsequently recognised as training centres by the education departments.

In 1888, the Glasgow School of Cookery managed a tearoom at the Glasgow International Exhibition (2 May 1888-10 November 1888) which provided enough profits to help with the running of the school for some years to come. The School also took part in the East End Industrial Exhibitions held on Glasgow Green.

The Glasgow School of Cookery was latterly known as the Glasgow School of Cookery & Domestic Economy and also the Glasgow Training School of Cookery & Domestic Economy.


The material has yet to be formally arranged and listed

Access Information


Acquisition Information

The Queen’s College, Glasgow

Other Finding Aids

Rough box lists available in the searchroom

Further information can be found via the Glasgow Caledonian University Archives homepage at

A fully searchable multilevel description of this archive is available via the Gateway to the Archives of Scottish Higher Education (GASHE) web site at

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 1847 procedures

Custodial History

Retained in the custody of Glasgow & West of Scotland College of Domestic Science (Incorporated), subsequently The Queen’s College, Glasgow


None expected

Related Material

GB 1847 WSC Records of West End School of Cookery, Glasgow

GB 1847 QC Records of The Queen’s College, Glasgow

The Queen’s College Special Collection (Glasgow Caledonian University Library Special Collections) see


Miller, E. Century of Change 1875-1975: One Hundred Years of Training Home Economics Students in Glasgow(Glasgow: The Queen’s College: c1975)

Thompson, W. and McCallum, C. Glasgow Caledonian University: Its Origins and Evolution(East Linton: Tuckwell Press: 1998)

Additional Information

This material is original

Revised by Victoria Peters, GASHE project manager, 1 November 2001

Geographical Names