Records of the General Council

Scope and Content

  • Minutes 1865-1866
  • Reports 1859-1972
  • Letters 1864-1967
  • Memoranda, circulars and notices 1865-1921
  • List of members of committee of General Council appointed to procure subscriptions for New College Buildings and Hospital 1866
  • List of names of sub-committee and committee of General Council and list of members of sub-committee of Senate and General Council 1866
  • Membership cards of the general council 1873
  • Receipts 1906 and 1910
  • Statement of General Council registration fees 1900-1901
  • Papers relating to recommendations of the General Council of Medical Education and Registration on general and professional examinations 1873, New College Buildings and Hospital at Gilmorehill 1865-1870

Administrative / Biographical History

The General Council was established under the Universities of (Scotland) Act of 1858, as one of the two governing bodies (the other, being the University Court) to take into account all questions affecting the well-being of Glasgow University, and to make recommendations to the University Court, which was required to respond to the Council. In common with the General Council of other Scottish Universities, it was required to approve the ordinances of other institutions. Its composition is now regulated under the Universities (Scotland) Act of 1966 by Ordinance 200 of 1997 and comprises' all persons on whom the University has conferred degrees and have paid the statutory registration fee as a requirement of graduation, all persons on whom the University has conferred certain degrees in the Glasgow School of Art and the former St Andrew's College of Education and have elected to pay the statutory registration fee, the Chancellor of the University, the members of the University Court, the holders of chairs in the University, and all readers, senior lecturers and lecturers in the University, and those former members of the Court and former professors who have elected to pay the statutory fee'. In terms of Ordinance 183 of 1978 the University must keep a register of members of the General Council which is authenticated annually and open for inspection at reasonable times in the office of the Registrar. The University Court is required to report annually to the Council under the 1966 Act and to lay before it for comment all changes in the regulations of the University that are affected by Resolutions and Ordinances under the Act.

The Council continues to have an advisory role in the process of running the University and elects the Chancellor (Chairman of the Council). Through a number of other committees it is consulted by Court and Senate on issues such as regulations for new degrees, and it gives its opinion on other areas of University performance, for example finance and research. It elects twenty members to its Business Committee and the Business Committee appoints subcommittees covering educational policy, finance and statistics, communications and social affairs. The Council meet twice a year on the fourth Saturday in January and June and may hold additional meetings. The office is run by the Clerk to the General Council and maintains an up-to-date database of all Glasgow graduates and their addresses. This allows mailings of Avenue (magazine for Glasgow University graduates), balloting for the election of Chancellor and Council members of Court, and contact for people such as the Alumni Relations Officer and the Development Campaign Officer, who try to foster links with graduates and raise funds on behalf of the University.


The papers are generally arranged in chronological order by date of creation.

Access Information

By appointment - access to recent official records and records containing confidential information is restricted in accordance with University policies and relevant legislation.


Michael Moss, Moira Rankin and Lesley Richmond . The History and Constitution of the University of Glasgow . Glasgow :  University of Glasgow  ,  2001  .

SRC Handbook Guide 2000 Online, Who Runs the University?

Additional Information

University of Glasgow

The material is original.

Subfonds level description compiled by Yvonne Ewing, Archives Assistant, 13 May 2002  .