Sir Thomas Lipton Collection

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Special Collections
Level 5, The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow
0141 287 2988

Sir Thomas Lipton Collection

(From left to right) Lord Thomas Dewar, Sir John Ferguson and Sir Thomas Lipton watching the Shamrock race to victory. July 1920

The Mitchell Library houses an important collection of memorabilia relating to Sir Thomas Lipton.

Sir Thomas Lipton was one of Glasgow’s most famous and successful sons. A self-made man who came from humble origins, he made a fortune selling tea and used his wealth to enter a succession of boats (all named 'Shamrock') in the America's Cup yacht race.
Despite his wealth and fame, he never forgot his native city and when he died in 1931, he gifted some £10,000 to the city of his birth. He also donated his extensive personal collection of newspaper cuttings, photographs and memorabilia. These are now housed in The Mitchell Library.
In 1999, the Collection required conservation work and it was then decided to digitise selected images, which would also open up the material to a wider audience. This work was funded at the time by Unilever, who owned the Lipton brand.  They're now available, along with Lipton's remarkable life story, to search or browse online. (Some of the images used on the site have been reproduced with kind permission of Unilever.)
The Collection consists of over 100 volumes of press cuttings and photographs, covering the period from 1877 until his death in 1931.  It details his business and social life but concentrates mostly on his five challenges for the America’s Cup. ​
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