Puneet Varma

Andersonian Library

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Country  Scotland
Size  Over 1,000,000 volumes
Date founded  1796
Type  Academic library
Established  1796
Phone  +44 141 548 4444
Number of members  15,000
Andersonian Library
Location  University of Strathclyde (Curran Building) 101 St. James Road, Glasgow G4 0NS
Items collected  Books, manuscripts, journals and electronic resources
Access requirements  Staff, students and alumni of the University of Strathclyde
Address  101 St James Rd, Andersonian Library, Glasgow G4 0NS, UK
Hours  Open today · 7AM–12AMThursday7AM–12AMFriday7AM–12AMSaturday9AM–9PMSunday9AM–9PMMonday7AM–12AMTuesday7AM–12AMWednesday7AM–12AM
Similar  University of Glasgow Library, Mitchell Library, Library, Strathclyde University Student U, The Glasgow School of

The Andersonian Library is the principal university library of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Established in 1796, it is one of the largest of its type in Scotland.


Access to the Library is restricted to Strathclyde university students and faculty only; upon entering the facility you are greeted with a card reader and security guard. This ensures that no unwanted visitors disrupt students during crucial working times. However, if you have forgotten or lost your card then a visitor's pass can be acquired from reception twice; then after a small fee is required to use the facilities without a Student card.

On 29 April 2010 The library was victim to a bomb scare. The surrounding roads and the library itself were evacuated. Strathclyde Police were called to the scene along with bomb-sniffing dogs. The library was cleared safe shortly after 2 pm and staff were allowed access and students were allowed to re-enter around 3 pm.


The Andersonian was formed in 1796 on the death of John Anderson when he bequeathed his collection, which consisted of over 2000 volumes. This is what formed the nucleus of the library. The Andersonian was originally housed within the buildings of Andersons Institution on George Street, before being relocated to the Royal College Building upon its opening in 1912. The library moved once again to the McCance Building on Richmond Street in 1964, remaining here until a former Collins warehouse on Cathedral Street. It was purchased by the University of Strathclyde in the late 1970s. The university then proceeded and stripped it right back to a skeleton, and rebuilt it as the third home of its Andersonian Library in 1980. The building itself is named after Sir Samuel Curran, the Principal who had masterminded Strathclyde's genesis as a university and served between 1964 and 1980. The current location into which the Andersonian moved in 1981 for the 1980-81 academic year - the new library was officially opened the following year.

John Anderson, a Professor of Natural Philosophy at Glasgow University, left his personal library of 1,500 volumes which formed the basis of the Andersonian Library's historical and nurtured items. Two other important collections were added to the library's stock in the following century: 500 volumes from the library of Alexander Laing, a Professor of Mathematics at Anderson's University, and 1,400 volumes from James Young of Kelly and Durris, who was President of Anderson's College. The library of the Royal College had strong collections in the fields of applied sciences and technology.

During Summer 2012 the first phase of the University Library redevelopment project was completed. In recent years the floors of the Library were upgraded to create a modern and vibrant learning space which is flexible, comfortable and accessible. During June 2012 the Jordanhill Library was closed and stock and services were integrated into this Library on the John Anderson campus. This project brought all Library and information services into a single location, delivering a one-stop shop to the users. There is a greater variety of learning environments offered, with more group study areas and improved silent study spaces. Relevant technology is now available throughout the building. Digital collections are continually being enhanced, opening hours are being increased and environmental conditions such as heating, lighting and ventilation have all been upgraded.


The Andersonian Library is split up into several different zones, spread over 5 floors. There are several floors designated for silent study, while the entrance floor hosting the majority of the library's computers is designated a 'quiet' study area. The 2nd floor is zoned for group work, and has a number of facilities for group study, such as bookable rooms and large tables. A new group study area has just opened on the 3rd floor, as part of the library's ongoing renovation. The Library is connected to the university's intranet, and provides free internet access through the desktop computers, wifi, or through a handful of hardwired Ethernet ports.

The library's 'SUPrimo' service allows students and staff to search the library's database in order to find print or electronic copies of books which the library keeps in stock. SUPrimo also allows users to reserve books and requisition material from storage.

The entrance (3rd) floor of the building houses a Starbucks, as well as a branch of the university-ran Nourish café. There are self-service vending machines on the 2nd floor.

For most of the term time the library is open between 7am and midnight, and is staffed between 9am and 9pm.

During exam time the library is opened 24 hours.

Notable Collections

The library holds around 3,200 volumes from John Anderson, Alexander Laing and James Young collectively, all from a period between 1490 and the end of the 19th century. There is also one incunable of note. German and Latin imprints are also available within the library and hold a modest 20 percent and 25 percent respectively.

The Scottish Mountaineering club (established in 1889) has also deposited books within the library. Throughout the years, members, authors and publishers have all donated books to the collection making most publications, journals and famous guidebooks available within the library. This collection is on deposit from The Scottish Mountaineering though, meaning at any-point a member of the club can borrow items from the collections (on production of a club membership card).

One of the more interesting pieces of work within the library's Special Collections is the James Young Collection, an industrial chemist and originator of the paraffin and shale oil industry in Scotland. The collection contains books and manuscripts on alchemy and early science dating from the 15th to the 19th century and is listed in a printed bibliography, Bibliotheca Chemica (Glasgow, 1906) by John Ferguson.

The library is home to many rare books (many with less than 3 copies in existence); however, these books are not available for removal out-with the library. The use of these books are only available for use within the library. Among other notable works within the library there are some by Agrippa Von Nettesheim and a volume by the grammarian Joannes Claius on rural economy.

Finally, the Andersonian Library also contains a "Strathclyde Collections" section which was created in order to conserve as complete a record as possible of publications relating to the University. It contains works by members of staff, official publications of the University, its departments and faculties and publications about the university.


Andersonian Library Wikipedia

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