Events

Talks, tours, and events are open to all Friends and visitors. Unless stated otherwise, talks are held in the Talk Lab, Level 3, University of Glasgow Library and are followed by refreshments.

See the Library FGUL Blog for more event information

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Forthcoming Events

‘From High Street to high-rise: housing the Glasgow University Library’

Talk Lab, Thursday 28th February 2019 at 7pm

Nick Haynes, freelance architectural historian, historic buildings consultant and author of the landmark study Building Knowledge: An Architectural History of the University of Glasgow (2013), will present an illustrated talk ‘From High Street to high-rise: housing the Glasgow University Library’ to the Friends of Glasgow University Library in the Talk Lab on Level 3 of the premises at 7 p.m. on Thursday, 28th February. All are very welcome to attend, and refreshments will be provided.

The University of Glasgow’s main library collection has grown from a few hundred books in the 15th century to approximately 1.5 million volumes today. The talk will examine the various buildings that have housed the collection, from a small room in Old College on the High Street, via an early 17th-century purpose-built hall in Old College, William Adam’s Old College Library of 1732 and George Gilbert Scott’s magnificent library of 1864-70 at Gilmorehill, to William Whitfield’s tower complex of 1960-68 at Hillhead. The constant expansion of the collection and the evolution of conservation requirements and user needs have shaped the designs of these specialist buildings for books in intriguing ways. The talk will also look at external influences, such as fashions and technology in library-building and the development of rival facilities at the other ancient universities of Scotland, that have played their part in the architectural history of the University of Glasgow Library.

‘Scotland’s links with the emergence of Modern Japan – the case of Glasgow University graduate, Dr Kaichi Watanabe’

Talk Lab, Thursday 21st March 2019 at 7pm

A talk by Dr Miles Oglethorpe, Head of Industrial Heritage at Historic Environment Scotland, on pioneering Japanese engineer, Kaichi Watanabe, his role in the construction of the Forth Bridge and Scotland’s contribution to the industrialisation of Japan.

Previous Events

‘Honest Jim?’, Guido Pontecorvo’s copy of Jim Watson’s Double Helix manuscript

A talk by Kevin O’Dell, Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the University of Glasgow, in the Talk Lab on Level 3 of the University of Glasgow Library, 7pm on Thursday 22ndNovember

Having discovered the structure of DNA with his Cambridge colleagues in 1953, Jim Watson published his autobiography The Double Helix in the year that Glasgow University Library’s new building opened – 1968. The book was both an important and also a controversial work.  In 1967, Watson sent an early manuscript of the book to the founding father of the Genetics subject area at Glasgow, Professor Guido Pontecorvo.  The two corresponded about it in 1967. This talk will give a fascinating glimpse into academic life and scientific endeavour in the 1960s. The manuscript and correspondence will be on display with other material from the University’s archives at what promises to be a highly entertaining talk from the University’s Dean of Public Engagement.

William Collins – 200 years of Publishing History

A talk by Dawn Sinclair, Archivist at Harper Collins Publishers, in the Talk Lab on Level 3 of the University of Glasgow Library, 6.45pm on Thursday 25th October

Glasgow-born William Collins started his printing and publishing business in the city in 1819. Initially publishing bibles, atlases and dictionaries, the company later grew to become a diverse and prolific publishing house, releasing works from some of history’s greatest authors, such as CS Lewis, Agatha Christie, and JRR Tolkien. The business is still going strong today in Glasgow and internationally. Throughout the past two centuries, Harper Collins has worked in collaboration with many different businesses and institutions, including University of Glasgow. This presentation, by Glasgow graduate and Corporate Archivist, Dawn Sinclair, will give an overview of its business history and its many links to the city and the world.

To tie in with the Library celebrating the 50th anniversary of the building, there will also be a rare opportunity to see a range of first edition books from the Harper Collins archive from the year 1968. The talk will be followed by a drinks reception in Level 2 Exhibition space, with the opportunity to visit the ‘Library 50’ exhibition and meet some of the staff involved in creating it.

Tuesday 13th February, 2018 – 7pm
A HEAP OF BOOKS ON THE FLOOR? TRANSCRIBING THE EARLIEST CATALOGUES OF WILLIAM HUNTER’S LIBRARY
by Julie Gardham (Senior Librarian in Special Collections, ASC, GUL)

Tuesday 27th March, 2018 – 7pm
SHINING LIGHT ON MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPTS
by Professor Andrew Beeby, (Department of Chemistry, University of Durham)

Thursday 7th December, 2017: 7.30pm
STUART CAMPBELL CONDUCTS RUSSKAYA CAPELLA. University of Glasgow Memorial Chapel (Admission Free)

Tuesday 7th November, 2017 – 7pm
PRISON EDUCATION: A HARD CELL  by Jim King

Tuesday 24th October, 2017 – 7.30pm
WILL THE REAL DUNCAN MACRAE STAND UP: EXPERIENCES IN WRITING A BIOGRAPHY  by Priscilla Barlow

Tuesday 21st March, 2017 – 7pm
THE ERSKINE HOSPITAL CENTENARY PROJECT by Moira Rankin (Senior Archivist, University of Glasgow Library) & Dr Jennifer Novotny (Research Assistant in History, GU School of Humanities)

Tuesday 21st February, 2017 – 7pm
DYE-VERSITY: RESEARCH INTO GLASGOW’S C19th DYEING MANUALS by Dr Anita Quye

Tuesday 22nd  November, 2016 – 7pm
THOMAS HOLLIS AND HIS LIBRARY OF LIBERTY by Dr Adam Budd

Tuesday 25th October, 2016 –  7pm
A HIDDEN GEM: ART AND MENTAL HEALTH by Dr Maureen Park

Saturday 10th September, 2016 – 2pm
A TOUR OF THE LIBRARY

Monday 13th June, 2016
University book launch of – THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW LIBRARY: Friendly Shelves

Tuesday 15th March, 2016  – 7pm
THOMAS HOPKIRK : Books, Botany and Fungi by Dick Peebles

Tuesday 9th February, 2016 – 7pm
THE SONGS OF ROBERT BURNS : A Glasgow Perspective by Professor Gerard Carruthers with soprano Alison McNeill

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