Eclectic Literary Society (not same as St. John’s Parish Church Eclectic Literary Association)


There is not a great deal currently known about this society. The Glasgow Post Office directory offers a list of office bearers in 1854 (these are also given in the newspaper articles listed below), while the articles in the Glasgow Citizen and Glasgow Herald report on the annual dinners and annual elections. However, from these, it appears that this group’s members were middle-class, Evangelical Dissenters. The Honorary Patron of the society was the Scottish poet, Thomas Campbell.

Date of Existence

February 1838-1846?

Source of Information

1. ‘Eclectic Literary’, ‘Educational and Scientific Institutions’, Glasgow Post-Office Annual Directory for 1854-1855… (Glasgow: William Mackenzie, 1854), p. 132;

2. ‘Eclectic Literary Society’, Glasgow Citizen, 10 February 1844, p. 2;

3. ‘Eclectic Literary Society’, Glasgow Herald, 12 February 1844, p. 4;

4. ‘Eclectic Literary Society’, Glasgow Herald, 9 February 1846, p. 4;

5. ‘Eclectic Literary Society’, Glasgow Herald, 4 May 1846, p. 4;

6. (Also numerous newspaper articles: see The British Newspaper Archive:


Mitchell Library

National Library of Scotland

Reference Number

Additional Notes

The Glasgow Post Office directories are available at the Mitchell Library and the National Library of Scotland. Digitised copies are available through the NLS website:

The Glasgow Citizen and Glasgow Herald is available at the Mitchell Library and the National Library of Scotland in both hard copy and microfilm (check libraries for availability in both formats). Digitised issues are also available through the British Newspaper Archive: