Records of the Rector

Scope and Content

There are few surviving records from the Rector's Office. Apart from those specific records noted here, relevant material may be found scattered throughout the series known as the inventory series and the University's body of semi-current records. In his role as president of the Senate and, later the University Court, records for these bodies can also be consulted (Clerk's Press and C).

  • Rector's meetings' minutes  1701-1719  (  GUA 26637  &  GUA 26633  )
  • Rectorial addresses  1820-1996  (GUA)
  • Records of  1971-1974 James Reid (  DC 455  )

Administrative / Biographical History

The Rector was originally the active head of the University, exercising jurisdiction over all its members. He was invariably a cleric and elected by the votes of the four 'nations' The 'nations' were constituencies to which all the teachers and students were allocated according to their place of birth - originally Clydesdale, Teviotdale, Albany and Rothesay. 'Nations' were abandoned in 1977. Under the nova erectio of 1577 the Rector was made president of the Senate but was not a member of the Faculty; the office gradually became an honorary one, although until the end of the eighteenth century the Rector occasionally exercised visitorial functions. The Rector is now elected by the matriculated students; he is president of the University Court and holds office for three years. Since 1980 the Rectors have increasingly become popular media figures albeit at times with clear agendas either for political change or improved student welfare.

A L Brown and Michael Moss . The University of Glasgow: 1451-1996 . Edinburgh :  Edinburgh University Press  ,  1996  .

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


Most of this material is arranged in series, which consist of numbers of items related by format and/or function. Within series, the items are generally arranged chronologically.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

These records were received from the Rector's Office

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Owned by the University of Glasgow.

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures.

Custodial History



Occasional accruals expected

Related Material

GB 0248 DC 001 Records of Beith Parish

GB 0248 DC 008 Papers of Hector James Wright Hetherington

GB 0248 DC 021 Papers of Robert Herbert Story

GB 0248 DC 033 Papers of Christian Melville Fleming

GB 0248 DC 050 Papers of Elizabeth Lendrum (nee Currie)

GB 0248 DC 115 Papers of Robert Love, Antiquities, Ayrshire

GB 0248 DC 121 Papers of David Murray

GB 0248 DC 132 Records of Glasgow University Archives

GB 249 DC 157 Records of Glasgow University Students' Representative Council

GB 0248 DC 180 Records of Glasgow University Conservative (Unionist) Club

GB 0248 DC 198 Records of Glasgow University Magazine

GB 0248 DC 233 Records of Queen Margaret College

GB 0248 DC 382 Papers of Donald MacMillan

GB 0248 IP Records of University of Glasgow Publicity Services

GB 0248 PH/PR Photographs

GB 0248 R 8 Records of the Registry

GB 0248 SEN Records of the Senate Office

Records relating to individual Rectors of the University of Glasgow can be found at Glasgow University Library Special Collections (GB 0247).


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

University of Glasgow

This material is original.

Subfonds level description compiled by Emily Woolmore, GASHE project archivist , 5 April 2000  . Amended by Lesley Richmond, October 2002  .