Records of the Senate Office

Scope and Content

  • Senate meeting minutes  1730-1770  (  GB 0248 GUA 26639-26644  )
  • Senate minutes  1771-1996  (  GB 0248 GUA SEN 1  )
  • Senate scroll minutes  1771-1839  (  GB 0248 GUA GUA 74018  )
  • University Calendars  1826-1998  (some years lacking including  1835-1843  and  1846-1862  ) (  GB 0248 GUA SEN 10  )
  • Clerk of Senate account book with  Dr Reid , Quaestor and  Mr Weir , Quaestor  1846-1863  (  GB 0248 GUA GUA 26812  )
  • Senate meeting papers  1852-1913  (  GB 0248 GUA GUA 74019-74085  ),  1955-1998  (  GB 0248 GUA SEN  ,  GB 0248 GUA SEN  ,  GB 0248 GUA SEN  )
  • Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees meeting minutes  1856-1869  (  GB 0248 GUA GUA 26827  )
  • Senate minutes indexes  1873-1919  (  GB 0248 GUA SEN 1/ 2  )
  • Senate out letter books  1913-1947  (  GB 0248 GUA GUA 58533-58571  )
  • Letters to the Senate  1925-1945

Administrative / Biographical History

Previous to the Universities (Scotland) Act of 1858, the entire business of the University was transacted in three distinct courts - namely, the Senate, the Faculty, and the Comitia. The term, Senate, was not used in connection with the University until the early part of the seventeenth century and then in a non-consistent form. The Senate subsequently consisted of the Rector, who presided, the Dean of Faculties, the Principal, and all the Professors of the University. Meetings of the Senate were held for conferring degrees, and for the management of the libraries and other matters belonging to the University. The members of the Faculty, Principal, who presided, and the Professors of the 13 oldest chairs had the administration of the whole revenue and property of the College. The Universities (Scotland) Act of 1858 made important changes to the constitution and government of Glasgow University. The distinction between the Faculty and the Senate was abolished, the Senate absorbing the Faculty and two new bodies, called the University Court, and University Council, were instituted.

The new Senate, the Senatus Academicus, became responsible for finance, the administration of the property and revenues of the University and for teaching and discipline. The University Court, was given powers to review decisions of Senate, nominate professors other than the Regius professors, and ensure that professors and the principal carried out their duties.

The 1889 Universities (Scotland) Act was more radical, giving the Senatus responsibility for academic matters, the regulation and superintendence of the teaching and the discipline of the University and the promotion of research and the Court authority in finance, fabric and appointments.

The ex officio members of the Senatus are the Principal, who is its president, and the Professors, both established chairholders and personal professors, together with a number of other officers, including the Clerk of Senate. Readers and lecturers who are members of the Faculties may be elected to membership of the Senate to a number equal to one third of its members ex officio. Members of Senate are also elected from the following constituencies: library staff - three members, research staff - six members and other related staff - three members. Membership of Senate has also been extended to a number of matriculated students: the Students' Representative Council President, Senior Vice-President, Vice-President for University Affairs, and one representative from each of the Faculties. The Principal has a deliberative and casting vote. One third of the Senatus constitutes a quorum.

The Senate Office is part of the Academic Services Division (ASD) of the University's Central Administrative Planning Unit (CAPU). The Senate Office provides support and advice to the Senate.


This material is to be re-listed.

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 Senate 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 & condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

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

Custodial History



Regular accruals expected

Related Material

Records of the University Court (GB 0248 GUA C)

Records of the Faculty Office (GB 0248 GUA FA)

Records of the Principal's Office (GB 0248 GUA P)


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 , 10 April 2000  . Amended by Lesley Richmond, October 2002  .