Andrew Bain

The Andrew Bain Memorial Collection

A collection of over 4000 volumes, rich in local histories, early Glasgow newspapers, printed books and many other treasures.

About Andrew Bain

Andrew Bain (1810-1858) was the co-founder, with James Bell, of the Glasgow printing firm Bell & Bain, established in 1831. He had a keen interest in books and accumulated a considerable library. As a successful businessman, he was able to acquire scarce and fine copies of volumes and prints for his collection, including books on the history of Glasgow, the Clyde and the West of Scotland generally.

Andrew Bain died in 1858 and his personal library was passed to his son, also Andrew Bain (1844-1926) of Glentower, Hunter’s Quay, Dunoon. He greatly enriched and expanded the collection and in 1920 donated the collection to the Mitchell Library in memory of his father.

About the collection

The collection was the personal library of Andrew Bain (1810-1858) of Bell and Bain Printers and was bequeathed to the library by his son, Andrew Bain (1844-1926). It is rich in local histories, early Glasgow newspapers and Glasgow printed books. It contains over 500 original sketches by William Simpson (“Crimea Simpson”), a Kilmarnock (1786) edition of the poems of Robert Burns and a complete set of Blaeu’s Atlas.

The collection has many treasures, including:

Burns, Robert. Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect. (1786). Kilmarnock: printed by John Wilson.

The Glasgow Courant, or West Country Intelligence. (November 1715 - May 1716) Glasgow: [Glasgow courant]. A complete copy of the first Glasgow newspaper.

Protestation of the Generall Assemblie of the Church of Scotland. (1638). Glasgow: George Anderson. The first work known to have been issued from a Glasgow press.

The Foulis Academy and Foulis Press Collection. A collection of engravings and other works issued by Andrew and Robert Foulis, including the fine and unique series of prints believed to have belonged to the press as a record of its production of engravings.

William Simpson drawings

•The collection also includes many books and prints from the press of Bell and Bain, including a selection of ‘Mock Valentines'.

Finding aid

Andrew Bain Memorial Collection listing (PDF, 1.2MB)

Further reading

Bell and Bain Ltd: Printing since 1831. (2017). Bell and Bain.

Offices and works of Bell & Bain, printers, publishers and bookbinders in Mitchell Street, 1964. From The Glasgow Story

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