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The History Of Glasgow Archives

Glasgow City’s archives began c.1175 when Bishop Jocelin obtained a royal charter authorising the bishops to have a burgh at Glasgow.

The Burgh continued to produce records of its work and maintained these for future reference. In 1560 Archbishop Beaton escaped to Paris and took the records of the burgh with him. He placed them in the Scots College in Paris, and they were taken from there and lost at the French revolution.

The little of what remained of the City’s archives were kept in the ‘Common Kist’ which was the town chest for muniments and money. In 1626, the City incorporated an iron-lined safe for their archives in the rebuilt Tollbooth. Fire-proof accommodation was included in the Municipal Buildings in Wilson Street - Ingram Street 1844-1888.

In 1964 the Town Clerk appointed the first professional City Archivist and in 1975 the service became Strathclyde Regional Archives. In the 1980s the archives moved from the City Chambers to the Mitchell Library. In 1996 the service once again became Glasgow City archives.

For 800 years the Keepers of Archives have preserved the archives, maintaining the official memory and evidence of the City’s activities.