National Home Reading Group (Oatlands Public School English Literature Branch)


The National Home Reading Union was formed in 1889 by John Brown Paton, and was based on the popular Chautauqua movement in North America. Its object was to provide a guided reading programme for all classes, but particularly artisans and young people. (For more information on the history of the National Home Reading Union, see Robert Snape, ‘The National Home Reading Union’, Journal of Victorian Culture, 7 (2002), 86-110).

Oatlands is an area in the south side of Glasgow and is part of the Gorbals. (For more information on this area, see the entry for ‘Gorbals, Glasgow. Origins & History‘ on the ScotCities website). Oatlands Public School was located on Caledonia Road.

According to the prospectus for this school, in addition to the ‘Evening Classes for Lads, Girls, Young Men and Women’, also on offer were ‘Commercial Classes’, which included a class in English literature. This class was to be a branch of the National Home Reading Union.

Date of Existence


Source of Information

Departmental Records; Further Education; Evening Classes, Continuation Classes and Further Education; Prospectuses 1908-1909


Glasgow City Archives

Reference Number

D-ED 6/2/2

Additional Notes