This association met on Friday evenings at 7.30 in the Greek Class Room of the Free Church Presbytery House, which was located on Holmhead Street. Its object (i.e. the purpose for meeting) was its members’ intellectual as well as religious and moral improvement. Members were students of the United Free Church College, or were approved to become members by a general vote. (For more information about the Free Church College, see ‘Glasgow College of the United Free Church of Scotland‘, on the GASHE (Gateway to Archives of Scottish Higher Education) website.) The subscription fee was rather low, being only 1s per year.
According to the membership rolls, in 1869, the year of the association’s founding, there were 64 Ordinary Members, and in the following session (November 1869-April 1870), there were 57 members. This dropped to 37 in the subsequent year, when the association was dissolved.
In the first session from January until March 1869, the essays and debates were restricted to religious issues and debates on doctrine, but the subsequent years saw a more eclectic mix of subjects — including authors, their works and literature more generally — which was the norm for literary societies throughout the nineteenth century.
Date of Existence
15 January 1869-21 November 1871
Source of Information
Minute-book of Free Church Students’ Literary Association. Glasgow, 1869-1871 (Treasurer’s documents, letters, syllabuses in pocket) (12 items total)
University of Glasgow Special Collections
MS Gen 898
Full description of 12 items is available on the University of Glasgow Special Collections Manuscripts Catalogue.