Select Literary Society


There is very little currently known about this society. The only evidence we have to date comes from a contemporary magazine article that provides only one line on the group:

‘The communication of the Select Literary Society, is not exactly such as we think would interest the generality of our readers. We wish the Members of that Society every success.’

(‘Notices to Correspondents’, The Western Luminary, or Glasgow Literary & Scientific Gazette, Vol. I, No. 3, 17 January 1824, p. 24)

From this, it is unclear what elements of the society’s communication were deemed uninteresting or perhaps unworthy of the readers of The Western Luminary.

The news and articles in The Western Luminary focused on Glasgow, thus it is unlikely that the Select Literary Society mentioned therein was the Select Literary Society (later the Diagnostic Society) of Edinburgh. (For more information on the latter group, see ‘The Societies’ Section. Reports of Mutual Improvement Societies’, The British Controversialist and Literary Magazine… (London: Houlston and Wright, 1866), pp. 396-7.)

Date of Existence


Source of Information

‘Notices to Correspondents’, The Western Luminary, or Glasgow Literary & Scientific Gazette, Vol. I, No. 3, 17 January 1824, p. 24


Mitchell Library Special Collections

Reference Number

Mitchell (AL) 310427

Additional Notes

The full title of this periodical is as follows: The western luminary, or, Glasgow literary and scientific gazette, embracing, Reviews of all new and interesting publications — Discussions of all important matters connected with the West of Scotland — Biographical memoirs of such living and dead individuals as possess peculiar claims on our sympathy or regard — Original essays upon men and manners, institutions and priciples — Poetry, written and selected for the work — Anecdotes and extracts — Arts and science — Truth and fiction, conducted by the Writers of the Free Press, and other literary gentlemen of Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

From the Mitchell Library online catalogue on the magazine:

‘Notes: Additional information: 1 v (208p.); 28cm[,] Bound with: Select views of Glasgow and its environs / engraved by Joseph Swan … Glasgow : Joseph Swan, 1828, in a volume with spine title The western luminary, Andrew Bain Memorial, Lacks nos. 14-16, no.18’ [accessed 31 January 2018].