City Archives

Black and white image showing a glasgow street scene from early 1900s, people are milling in the street and there is a tram

About the City Archives

The City Archives are housed in the Mitchell Library and include the official records of various local authorities as well as a large number of private archive collections.

Planning your visit to Glasgow Archives

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions ahead of your visit.

If you still can't find what you're looking for please get in touch, you can either phone 0141 287 2910 or send us an email.

Yes, please book at least one week in advance. Appointments are on Tuesday to Thursday from 10am - 4pm, and on the first Saturday each month, at 10am to 4pm. 

To book an appointment, please complete the Archives Appointment Booking Form
at Archives Appointment Booking Form and email to

Your appointment will be confirmed by email. Please bring your confirmation email along with you on the day.

Customers can request up to six items in advance of an Archives session. Materials are only available for use during your appointment.

You will be assigned a table and your order will be placed there in advance of your arrival.

You will be sent Reader’s Registration form in advance of your visit. You can either email this form in advance to or bring it with you on the day.

You will be advised in advance of any conditions for accessing materials.

We offer a remote advice service, with suggestions on fiding aids and sources.
We also do our best can provide help and advice on the day of your visit where we can.

We ask visitors to follow some rules to help us preserve the archives for future generations.
You should only bring what you need with you:
• You may bring the following with you into the searchroom: laptop, tablet, mobile phone or camera (all on silent), and notebooks.
• No coats, bags or umbrellas – please leave in the lockers provided in the Archives foyer
• No pens, please use pencils only

Everyone visiting the City Archives has a responsibility to preserve them.
There are some general practices that should be followed by everyone:
• No sanitiser or hand cream is allowed in the search room. Please wash your hands before entering the search room.
• Gloves should not be used in the search room. The exception to this is when handling photographs, in this instance we will provide powder-free nitrile gloves.

We allow the use of hand-held cameras, phones, tablets or laptops to take still images of documents.
We are unable to offer self-service copying facilities.
We can provide copies of documents but we may need to seek permission of the copyright or collection owner before we do so. If the item is fragile, we may be unable to copy it due to the risk of further damage.
The archivist will explain any copying restrictions.

We are bound by various statutes and agreements which affect access to some records. There may be restrictions placed on records by private depositors. Some records may be closed to protect personal information in line with data protection law. This includes:
  • School records, admission registers and log books (from 30 to 75 years)
  • Poor Law applications (75 years for adults, 100 years for children)
  • Police personnel records (75 years)
  • Adoption or looked-after children records (100 years)
  • Requests to access adoption records should be directed to Families for Children, Social Work Services, Glasgow City Council.

Glasgow City Archives preserves and grants access to the historical records of Glasgow and the West of Scotland.
We are keen to accept further gifts and deposits (on long-term loan) of records of historical significance.
What records?
We accept material from the geographical area of the former Strathclyde Region. This may exclude material relating to an area served by an established and approved local archives service. In this instance we will accept these collections if:
  • The owner or depositor has expressed a definite wish that they are held in Glasgow
  • The items are an integral part of an existing collection
  • Are of regional or national significance and Glasgow is as natural a location for them as any other
Please contact us to arrange an assessment of the collection(s) and decide whether we can take them or not.
0141 287 2910

Glasgow City Archives has a variety of finding-aids. The archivists will guide you to the most appropriate place to help you find what you're looking for.
Catalogues contain detailed descriptions of archives according to where they came from and when they were created. You can consult these catalogues in the search room.
Summary information about many of our collections is available online on the Scottish Archives Network website.
General Index: A large card index by name (personal and corporate), place and subject.
Building Plans Index: A large card index of architectural plans from 1870s -1912.
A large number of databases for family and architectural historians, most of which can only be accessed in the search room. These include Poor Law, registers of policemen and church registers for the family historian, as well as a number of databases detailing architectural plans.
There are a number of Online Resources for Archives to help you gain access to a wonderful documentary heritage which spans eight centuries.

Glasgow school experience - 1873 - 1918

Gain insight to what school life was like in the city at our new display exploring education. On from now until September 2024 at the Mitchell Library.

Find out more
This colour photograph shows a view of the Empire Exhibition from the south, looking up the hill over the South Cascade to the Garden Club and the Tower of Empire.

What's on

Find out about upcoming events at The Mitchell Library.

Events at The Mitchell

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