Find photographs which will help tell the story of how your ancestors lived their lives.

What do I need to know before I start?

Try to find out:

  • where your ancestor lived and when
  • nature and location of occupation
  • place and dates of other activities


What records can I find in the Mitchell: Glasgow City Archives, Special Collections and the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives?

The City Archives and Special Collections together hold a large collection of photographs, which feature Glasgow's buildings and streets and people going about their daily lives.

More than 9000 of these photographs are available on the Virtual Mitchell​. This is only a small taster for the rich photographic collections to be found within the Mitchell which include:

  • The world famous Annan Collection, including the photographs of Glasgow's old streets and closes (Special Collections)
  • William Graham collection of photographs and glass negatives by a Glasgow photographer (Special Collections)
  • City's own photographic archives, including street scenes, new and old housing, social history and many other images (City Archives)
  • shipping photographs (Langmuir Collection and Wotherspoon Collection, Special Collections); Clyde Port, and various shipbuilding companies (City Archives)
  • railway photographs of engines and locomotives in the North British Locomotive, George H Robin, Campbell Lawson-Kerr and other Collections (Special Collections)
  • business records, including photographs illustrating occupations and people at work (City Archives)
  • criminals and convicts (City Archives)

And so much more, so do ask staff at the City Archives and Special Collections who will be able to advise you.

For hospitals and related photographs, ask the archivist for the NHS who will guide you on details of their photographic resources.


What records can I see online?

The Virtual Mitchell has 9,000 photographs from the City Archives and Special Collections.

Scran: Fully-captioned images, sounds and videos - all related to Scotland and its history - from museums, galleries, and archives including the V&A, National Galleries of Scotland, Glasgow Museums and The Scotsman. Available at the Mitchell Library and Bridgeton Library. Please ask staff for a password for full access.


What other resources will help me find information?


Special Collections

0141 287 2988

Glasgow City Archives

0141 287 2910

In this guide