Explore Glasgow's rich cultural heritage

Glasgow’s Cultural History is an online resource providing information on different aspects of the city’s rich cultural heritage, ranging from art and architecture, to music, theatre and literature.

The site records many of the pioneering developments which took place in the city from the mid-seventeenth to late nineteenth centuries. These include the Foulis Academy, which opened in the 1750s at the Old College, as Glasgow University was known, on the High Street, and predated the Royal Academy in London by fifteen years; and the creation of the McLellan art collection, and the galleries which were built on Sauchiehall Street to house it. Their acquisition by the Town Council in the 1850s established the country’s first civic-funded art gallery.

The Glasgow Art Index is a database created from a study of existing archives, mostly based in the city, and from a day-by-day search of newspapers and journals, ephemera, and any other material relating to the fine arts in Glasgow, from the seventeenth to late nineteenth centuries. The subjects range from art organisations, exhibiting societies, art education, and artists, to art collectors and patrons, museums and art galleries.

Glasgow was a great centre for music, theatre and literature. Information on some of these activities, ranging from composers, poets and performers, to organisations, publications and venues, can be found here.

Guided walks round some of Glasgow’s historic districts, with cultural connections, can be arranged.

Latest Index Entries

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The Grand Diorama of Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”, Royal Polytechnic Institution, December 1855

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