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Special Collections,
Level 5, The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN
0141 287 2988
lil@glasgowlife.org
Fax: 0141 287 2815

The Thomas Annan Photographic Collection

Photograph of Belvidere House, Glasgow taken from The Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry (1870)

The Mitchell Library holds over 1,000 photographs by the pioneering Glasgow photographer Thomas Annan.

Thomas Annan (1829 -1887) was the son of a Fife farmer and flax spinner and lived for most of his life in Glasgow.  After training and working as a copperplate engraver, he set up a photographic studio in Sauchiehall Street in 1857. Annan concentrated initially on architectural photography but then turned his attention to portraits.

In 1866 Annan was commissioned by Glasgow City Improvement Trust to photograph slum areas in the old part of the city before urban renewal took place.  This resulted in the landmark series of photographs, Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, which was published between 1868 and 1877.

Annan  Photographs in The Mitchell Library 

  • Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, 1868-1877

  • Building of the Loch Katrine Waterworks, 1859-1877

  • portraits of David Livingstone, Horatio McCulloch, Joseph Noel Paton and Daniel MacNee

  • the controversial Munich painted windows in Glasgow Cathedral, 1867 (many of these now removed and replaced)

  • Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry, 1870

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