A collection of books by and about notable figures in the Quaker religion and movement, dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
Quakers (also known as ‘The Society of Friends’) first met in Glasgow before 1660 with the first Meeting House located somewhere off Trongate. It was superseded about 1730 by a building in Stirling Square, between High Street, Ingram Street, and Albion Street, donated by John Purdon of Partick. This building was sold in 1791 as membership dwindled and the proceeds used to build a Meeting House at the Pleasance in Edinburgh.
By 1815 the community had revived sufficiently to warrant the use of a permanent building in North Portland Street, on the site now occupied by the Livingstone Tower of Strathclyde University. They were based here till 1921 and then moved to the Literary and Philosophical Society in Bath Street.
In 1944 a house at 16 Newton Terrace was purchased and furnished with the benches from the abandoned Pleasance Meeting House in Edinburgh. By the late 1990s it could not accommodate the increasing numbers so was sold in 1991 and temporary premises used until Royal Artillery Club at 38 Elmbank Crescent was purchased in 1992. There is a tiny burial ground just off Keith Street in Partick which was used by Quakers in Glasgow from 1711 to 1857.
The collection consists of over 200 books and pamphlets on Quakerism, mostly from 18th and 19th century, although there are some earlier works. It includes several biographical works, memoirs and journals, and authors such as William Penn, George Fox, Robert Barclay and Margaret Fell. It was donated to The Mitchell Library in 2010 by the Quaker Society of Glasgow, the material having been on deposit for some years.
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