Glasgow University Library

Glasgow University Library

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Glasgow University Library

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The University of Glasgow Library is one of the oldest and largest University libraries in Europe. It holds more than 2.5 million books and journals, as well as providing access to an extensive range of electronic resources including over 30,000 electronic journals.

The current 12-storey building, openened in 1968, is a prominent landmark in Glasgow's West End, and may be classified as a mid-rise skyscraper and its distinctive outline can be seen from several kilometers around.


The first explicit mention of the Library is dated November 1475, when the first donations by the University's Chancellor, Bishop John Laing, were recorded. The Library grew steadily throughout the 18th century due largely to the fact that it was granted legal deposit status between 1709-1836. Legal deposit ceased in 1836 and the Library was granted an annual lump sum which allowed it to develop its collections in line with the University's teaching and research interests. The library of the royal physician to Queen Charlotte, William Hunter, received in 1807, comprised some 10,000 volumes that augmented the library's holdings by fifty percent, and extended their reach well beyond the contemporary curriculum; of Hunter's 650 manuscript codices, over a hundred are illuminated, and his incunabula "accorded Glasgow a prominence that it could not have achieved with its own resources".

By 1888 the holdings of the Library had risen to around 126,000 volumes, due in...
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