Special Collections

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Special Collections contains printed material and books in over 30 collections spanning the 16th to the 21st centuries. All books can be found through the library's SUPrimo catalogue. Here are some highlights from the collections:

Anderson Collection

Portrait of John Anderson The personal library of John Anderson (1726-1796),  Professor of Natural Philosophy at Glasgow University, who left his collection as working stock for the new University founded by his will. The library of an 18th century Scottish scientist, the collection includes books, papers and lecture notes. The collection also includes a printed catalogue of his library dating from 1832.

List of books in the Anderson Collection

Related archives: John Anderson papers (ref: GB 249 OA)

Young Collection

This collection was bequeathed by James "Paraffin" Young (1811-1883) to support the Young Chair of Technical Chemistry.

The collection contains books and manuscripts on alchemy and early science dating from the 15th to the 19th century and is listed in a printed bibliography, Bibliotheca Chemica (Glasgow, 1906) by John Ferguson. Mainly German and Latin texts, the collection includes one incunabulum dating from 1495 and one manuscript dated 1447. 

List of titles in the Young Collection

Related archives: James 'Paraffin' Young papers (ref: GB 249 T-YOU)

Strathclyde Collections

Comprises the Strathclyde Staff, Strathclyde Official and Strathclyde Serial collections. These collections were developed to conserve as complete a record as possible of publications relating to the University. 

They contain monographs by members of University staff, official publications of the University, its departments and faculties and publications about the University.

List of titles in the Strathclyde Staff collection

List of titles in the Strathclyde Official collection

List of titles in the Strathclyde Serials collection


Jordanhill Collection

The Jordanhill Collection contains rare books and material that had previously been part of the working collection for Jordanhill’s antecedent institutions: Glasgow Provincial Training College (1907-1959), Glasgow Church of Scotland Training College (1845-1907) or Glasgow Free Church Training College (1845-1907).

It contains mainly 19th and 20th century materials for primary and secondary level education, containing: books covering tuition of reading, writing and arithmetic; children’s picture books; textbooks; other educational material; and reports on education in Scotland. 

List of titles in the Jordanhill Collection

Robertson Collection

This collection contains material on the history and description of Glasgow, Scottish topography and travel history, canals, and Scottish tours from the 17th to the 20th century. Also includes articles, illustrations and ephemera on subjects such as industrial archaeology. 

The collection is based on the personal library of John Robertson (1912-1991), a local government officer and writer who was an authority on the area north of the Clyde to the Trossachs. 

List of titles in the Robertson Collection

List of ephemera and research notes PDF

Scottish Mountaineering Club Library

The Scottish Mountaineering Club was established in 1889. The book collection has mainly been accumulated through donations from its members, authors and publishers. Most of the SMC’s own publications, journals and famous guidebooks are also present. 

Subjects covered by the collection : technical and philosophical aspects of mountaineering, climbing, skiing, hill walking and other outdoor pursuits; fiction and literature; biographies and autobiographies; travel and exploration from all over the world which includes an extensive collection of Scottish texts; history of mountaineering; antiquarian collection of 18th Century Scottish travel and tour books.

This collection is on deposit from the Scottish Mountaineering Club. Members of the SMC may borrow certain items on production of a current club membership card.

The early volumes of the Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal have been digitised as part of the Glasgow Digital Library by the Centre for Digital Library Research at the University of Strathclyde.

List of titles in the Scottish Mountaineering Club Library

Guide for users of the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC) Library (including list of journals) PDF

Rare Books Collection

The material held in the Collection covers a wide range of subject interests and dates from the 16th century onwards.

This Collection contains books printed before 1840 and also includes later special material such as first editions, limited editions, vulnerable plates and fine bindings.

List of titles in the Rare Books Collection