Records of Glasgow University Alchemists' Club

Scope and Content

  • Minute books, 1913-1971;
  • Financial reports, 1923;
  • The Alchemist, 1925-1942;
  • Membership cards, nd;
  • Former students' roll, 1927;
  • Student members photograph, 1923.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Glasgow University Alchemists' Club was founded in 1916 with the aim of promoting scientific debates, particularly through its lecture programme and providing social events for society members. Membership was open to all past and present chemistry students and staff of Glasgow University. Membership rose from 26 in 1917 to 580 in 1971. In 1920 it was decided that meetings should be held fortnightly, and should take one of three forms; debates or lectures, visits to works of chemical interest, and/or social meetings. Joint meetings were occasionally held with both the Andersonian Chemical Society of the Royal College, Glasgow (later the University of Strathclyde), and the Glasgow University Geological Society.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held each year in the last week of December, at which the office bearers were elected. The council consisted of a president, two vice-presidents, six ordinary members and a secretary, who also acted as treasurer and managed the Club. In 1921 the Council included two additional office bearers; an honorary former students secretary and an honorary treasurer. In the same year a sub-committee was formed to deal with all social matters, as well as sub-committees for amusements, re-unions and a dances.

In 1925 it was decided to print a magazine called The Alchemist. To that end a magazine committee was set up. The council now consisted of an additional two office bearers; the editor and the business manager of The Alchemist. In 1935 an amendment was made to the constitution which stated that at least three of the council members should be women. During World War II, a sub-committee was elected to raise money for the Forces Fund.

From the 1930s an 'apparatus exchange' appears to have been set up, with the hope it would increase the funds of the Club. In 1938 a branch of the club was formed in London, England, for which the Glasgow branch disclaimed any financial responsibility. The Club was still active in 2007 hosting lectures, social events and debates.


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

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Permanent deposit :Glasgow University Alchemists Club : Department of Chemistry, Glasgow University, Glasgow : 1977 Mr Ian P Logan : "Strontian" Lerags, by Oban. Argyll : 1980

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

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 248 procedures

Custodial History

The majority of the collection was received directly from the Club itself


None expected

Related Material

GB 248 DC 306/6 Records of Glasgow University Company of Honourable Alchemists : this collection was received along with the records of the Glasgow University Alchemists' Club, but has been separated from the main collection.

See source list of Glasgow University student clubs and societies is available via Glasgow University Archive Services homepage at

See also GB 248 DC 434 and GB 248 DC 417, both papers of Nelson Elliot Wallace (1910-2009), science graduate, University of Glasgow and committee member of the Glasgow University Company of Honourable Alchemists.

Material in other repositories: no material associated by provenance

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level description compiled by Hannah Westall, Archives Assistant, June 2000. Amended by Sam Maddra, Assistant Archivist (catalouing), 12 August 2015.

Geographical Names