Queen’s Park is located in the south side of Glasgow. (For more information about this park and the surrounding area, see ‘Queen’s Park‘ on The Glasgow Story website, and ‘Queen’s Park: A short history‘, on the Friends of Queen’s Park website). Members of this literary institute were most likely part of the congregation of Queen’s Park St. George’s United Presbyterian Church, which was located on Langside Avenue. (For more information on this church, see ‘Queen’s Park UP Church‘ on The Glasgow Story website).
According to the printed ‘Constitution’ ([1874-1875 session?]) for this group, the society was called the Queen’s Park United Presbyterian Church Young Men’s Literary Institute (later, it would be called the Queen’s Park U.P. Church Literary Institute). Its object was to encourage its members’ improvement and a sense of conviviality. The group met every other Monday at 8pm from October until March.
To give a snapshot of this society, in the 1902-1903 session, the group met in the church Class Room on Monday evenings (an increase from the bi-weekly meetings in the 1870s) at the church. Meetings during the session included a lecture, five debates, 16 essays, and one Musical Evening. In the Annual Report for this session, the secretary reported that there was an average of 63% of the members (or 25.9 Ordinary Members) present at the 21 meetings held that year. At the end of March, there were 27 Honorary Members, and a total of 53 Ordinary Members (18 of which were new that session) on the roll. After calculating the number of resignations (n. 7) and deaths (n. 1), there were in total 45 members.
To compare, the annual report for the 1913-1914 session shows that there was an average attendance of 28.4 members at the meetings, and 28 Honorary Members and 57 Ordinary Members on the roll, thus this group appears to have been growing during the early decades of the twentieth century. Without any extant membership rolls, it is unknown if this society ever allowed women to join.
Members of the group produced a magazine between 1874 and 1878 that included original essays, poems and artwork (see ‘Additional Notes’ below). It appears that a magazine was started again in February of the 1913-1914 session, but it does not seem to have survived (Minute entry, 30 March 1914, Glasgow, Queen’s Park, St. George’s UP, UF Church, Latterly Camphill Queens Park, Literary Institute Minutes, 1909-20).
Date of Existence
Source of Information
1. The Queen’s Park Literary Institute Magazine, 1874, 1875, 1877-78 (GCA, CH3/1471/42-44);
2. Literary Institute syllabus, 1875-1912 (GCA, CH3/1471/45);
3. Glasgow, Queen’s Park, St. George’s UP, UF Church, Latterly Camphill Queens Park, Literary Institute Minutes, 1903-09; 1909-20; 1921-27 (GCA, CH3/1471/39-41)
Glasgow City Archives
(See Source of Information)
See also John Street U. P. Church Literary Institute, with whom they had joint debates in the 1870s, Govanhill Literary Association, with whom they had a joint debate in 1889, Pollokshields Free Church Literary Institute, Queen’s Park Free Church Literary Society, Camphill United Presbyterian Church Literary Institute, Langside Hill United Free Church Literary Institute, and Pollokshields Parish Church Literary Society, with whom this society held joint debates in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.