The Alternative Guide to Glasgow


The Open Museum
Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, 200 Woodhead Road , Nitshill, Glasgow , G53 7NN
0141 276 9368
Text Phone:  0141 276 9428
Fax: 0141 276 9305

The Alternative Guide to Glasgow

The Alternative Guide to Glasgow


The Alternative Guide to Glasgow was started by a group of long-term prisoners in ​HMP Glenochil.


The Open Museum created a series of workshops using handling kits and objects from Glasgow Museums’ Collection.
The project resulted in The Alternative Guide to Glasgow – a tourist-style map with a twist. Copies of the map are now available as fold-out leaflets in Glasgow museums, libraries and community venues. 
Writer in Residence Gowan Calder approached The Open Museum to support the ongoing project Pure Dead Brilliant – the ever changing face of Gallus Glesga.
Gowan said, ‘What happened was that when The Open Museum started coming in, it was turning into something quite different. The creation of the “map” was something tangible.
‘We wanted the men to speak about their own view of Glasgow – not just a poetic view of a world from which they were divorced. The idea was more that they should have a feeling of responsibility for their community again – with all its problems as well as its character and beauty.’
You can find out more about this work and see some of the results by following the links on the left hand side of this page.
If you would like further information, please contact us.


HMP Glenochil is sited in Central Scotland. It holds long-term adult male prisoners with High, Medium and Low supervision security classifications.

Since 2006 the Scottish Prison Service, Carnegie College and the Scottish Book Trust have collaborated on a writer residency based in the Learning Centre of the prison. 
We would like to thank The Scottish Book Trust for funding the publication of The Alternative Guide to Glasgow. 

Case study

To read the HMP Glenochil case study in the Museums Galleries Scotland publication How museums can help you Government Summary, follow the link on the right hand side of this page.



Museums Galleries Scotland’s quarterly magazine shares news and features from the organisation and museums and galleries throughout the country. 
In issue 18, you can read the article about the HMP Glenochil project ‘You won’t find this in any tourist guide…’
Follow the link on the right hand side of this page.
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