Clubs and Societies

Find out more about collections from local clubs and societies in Glasgow and the surrounding areas and the records that may show the trade affiliations, hobbies and interests of your ancestors.

What do I need to know before I start?

Try to find out the:

  • name of the club or society
  • type of club or society
  • trade, occupation or craft of your ancestor


What records can I find in The Mitchell: Glasgow City Archives?

There are many collections from a wide range of private clubs and societies that were based in and around the city held at the City Archives.

Membership records are the most obvious source of information for family historians, but sometimes records such as minute books, annual reports, brochures and programmes, correspondence and photographs may refer to members and their dealings in the daily activities of the organisation.

The following are just a very small sample of the club and societies records that are held at the Archives.

Some of these organisations relate to trades, crafts or unions. As well as a social function, some were established to help promote and protect their members’ employment, financial interests, or trading interests such as:

  • Chamber of Commerce
  • East Indian Association
  • Govan Weavers
  • Journeymen Bakers' Society of Glasgow
  • Kincaids' Employees and Clyde Foundry Employees Masonic Associations
  • Scottish Master Wrights’ and Builders’ Association
  • Second Society of Journeymen Weavers of Calton by Glasgow
  • Weavers Society of Anderston
  • West Indian Association

Other bodies relate to sporting, performing or artistic interests:

  • Arlington Baths Club
  • Cartha Athletic Club
  • Clydesdale Cricket Club Records
  • Die Deutsch sprechenden Wanderer (German-speaking Ramblers’ Club of Glasgow)
  • Glasgow Literary Club
  • Glasgow Orpheus Choir
  • Glasgow Society of Organists
  • Nomads Club
  • Royal Scottish Automobile Club


Glasgow City Archives also hold records from various charitable and philanthropic clubs, which sometimes include records about the individuals or groups that they assisted, such as:

  • Glasgow Boys' Brigade
  • Glasgow Humane Society (Geddes family papers)
  • Glasgow Old Man’s Friend Society
  • Glasgow Magdalene Institution
  • North Parish Washing-Green Society of Glasgow
  • St Mark’s Masonic Lodge No. 102


Club and societies founded to promote and support particular communities within the city whose records are deposited here include:

  • Buchanan Society (aimed at those with the surname Buchanan)
  • Glasgow Irish Gaelic Club

Some records may be subject to closures under data protection legislation or due to the depositor's requirements. For more details and to check for records for any particular organisation please contact the archivisits.


​What records can I see online?

The records are not available online.


What other resources will help me find information?


Olive Checkland, Philanthropy in Victorian Scotland, social welfare and the voluntary principle (1980)
Historical Sketch of the Buchanan Institution, Glasgow (1913)
Twentieth Century Society: North Parish Washing-Green Society (c.1974)



The corporate name search on The National Register of Archives website includes collections held UK wide.



Glasgow City Archives

0141 287 2910

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