This group of young women were — or were previously– students of Queen Margaret College, membership being open to current and former students. (For more information on this college, see’ Queen Margaret College‘ on The University of Glasgow Story website, and ‘North Park House‘ on The Glasgow Story website.) It is currently unknown if this group had any connections with the earlier Queen Margaret College Literary and Debating Society.
The object of the society was to promote and encourage the study of literature. The union met to listen to lectures by invited speakers, and to form reading circles. In 1908, it was reported that there were also study circles specifically for Gaelic and Irish literature, as well as Icelandic (see ‘Additional Notes’ below).
The Union held an annual business meeting at which they elected officers and determined the subject of study for the coming year. In the annual statement supplied to its members, in addition to a few original contributions by union members, a guided reading list was included. The annual fee was half-a-crown (or 2s 6d, which was the average for other literary societies at this time). In its first year, the union was happy to report a membership of 134 members.
Date of Existence
Source of Information
1. Queen Margaret College Reading Union, 1908-1909 [annual report of the Queen Margaret College Reading Union, and print magazine, printed by Bone & Hulley, Glasgow] , (MLSC) Mitchell (GC) 828 169800)*;
2. Queen Margaret College Reading Union, 1908-09 (MLSC, Mitchell (GC) 828 431393);
3. Queen Margaret College Reading Union, [Year Book], 1908-09 (UGAS, GB 248 DC/233/2/16/7/1/5);
4. Queen Margaret College Reading Union, Year Book, 1909-10 (UGAS, GB 248 DC/233/2/16/7/1/1);
5. Queen Margaret College Reading Union, Year Book, 1910 (UGAS, GB 248 DC/233/2/16/7/1/2);
6. Queen Margaret College Reading Union, Year Book, 1911 (UGAS, GB 248 DC/233/2/16/7/1/3);
7. Queen Margaret College Reading Union, Year Book, 1912 (UGAS, GB 248 DC/233/2/16/7/1/4)
Mitchell Library Special Collections (MLSC)
University of Glasgow Archives Services (UGAS)
(See Source of Information)
The print magazine for Queen Margaret College Reading Union’s 1908-1909 session includes a list of Office-Bearers, list of members, Constitution of the Union, Report for the 1907-08 session, Report of the Irish Reading Circles (Miss Hutton), and contributions from two members (MLSC, Mitchell (GC) 828 169800).