Our History

Shelves and tables in the 109 Trongate premises, 1990s

Three Decades of Changing Minds: Marking 30 Years of Glasgow Women’s Library

Glasgow Women’s Library is thrilled to be the recipient of a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a two year project to interpret, safeguard and share our own 30-year heritage, and enable us to ‘look back to move forward’.

Glasgow Women's Library's first location on Hill Street

Join the GWL Team

We are seeking two new team members, a Project Coordinator and a Project Archivist, to help take forward Three Decades of Changing Minds: Marking 30 Years of Glasgow Women’s Library

Old photograph of a shop front in Garnethil with a a sign reading Women's Library in uneven text

GWL at 30

On this day in 1991, in a draughty little shopfront in Garnethill, Glasgow Women’s Library opened its doors for the first time. Now happily settled in our permanent home in Bridgeton, we are taking time over this anniversary year to ‘look back to move forward’.

GWL- The Library for the Modern Woman

After our whirlwind tour through the history of the Bridgeton Public Library, I think that the main take away from its story is that no matter what year we are in, or the social and economic conditions, the library has always and will always remain an important part of our culture. Emerging from humble roots, […]

A Library for Modern Bridgeton?

Whilst we have seen how the establishment of the library benefited the women of industrialising Bridgeton, how did the library modernise? In this blog post, we explore how in the face of changing economic circumstances, the library served the changing needs of Bridgeton’s population. Relative to the upheaval and influence of industrialisation in Glasgow were […]

The Library as an Arena for Self-Expression

‘The main consideration should be to help those who will help themselves; to provide part of the means by which those who desire to improve may do so; to give those who desire to rise the aids by which they may rise, to assist, but rarely or never do at all’. 1 Historian Michelle Garfield has […]

The Women of Industrialising Bridgeton

In our discourse on what it meant to be a woman during the period of industrialisation, we often find it hard to move beyond the idea of the woman in her domestic role as a wife and as a mother. Whilst this Victorian ideology of femininity undoubtedly restricted the experience of many Scottish women, it […]

The Origin of the Public Library

Before we can explore the history of the Bridgeton Public Library, it is first important to understand the processes through which Carnegie granted money for the establishment of these libraries, and the wider social and cultural context in which this occurred. The history of the public library is interwoven with the growth of literacy, and […]

Carnegie’s Libraries in Scotland: The History of the Bridgeton Public Library

‘From Scotland’s heather-covered braes, In Babyhood he came, And early fixed his childish gaze, On lucre and on fame…// So skilfully he flew his kite, That wondrous was his luck; He reached for all the cash in sight; And rich investments struck; At railroads, likewise coke and coal, He took full many a fling, And […]

Women in the Landscape Book Collection

A Space to Create our Ecofeminism . . .

On Saturday 30th March, 65 women came together at the ‘Our Space, Our Place: Creating Ecofeminism’ event at Glasgow Women’s Library, to discover and explore positive and creative responses to our changing environment, climate and world.  Here, two of the organisers, Saskia and Ali, tell us about the day . . .   Ecofeminist theory […]