The Whitie Collection

A collection of books on the subject of architecture belonging to the architect William Brown Whitie.

About William Brown Whitie

William Brown Whitie (1871-1946) was born in Galashiels and served his apprenticeship in the town and in Edinburgh, before moving to Glasgow in 1891 as assistant to the architect John Gordon (1835-1912). He studied at Glasgow School of Art and in 1894 he obtained a place with the City Engineer Alexander Beith McDonald. He remained there until he won the competition for Springburn Public Hall and Winter Garden in 1899, enabling him set up his own practice in Glasgow.

In 1903 Whitie won the competition for the Public Library in Springburn and in 1906 for the new building for The Mitchell Library, a major project which secured his position financially for life.

Beyond the few big competition wins of his earlier years, Whitie's practice was never large. He was a rather quiet man who never married and beyond the Art Club, his circle of friends was limited. Those who knew him however, described him as a loyal friend and sound adviser.

He was instrumental in setting up the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) and was President of the Glasgow Institute in 1921-22. Despite doing little business between the wars, he was elected President of the RIAS in 1934-36. For over 40 years he lived in a flat on Great Western Road, near Kelvinbridge.

About the collection

The collection consists of 38 volumes on the subject of architecture, belonging to William Brown Whitie. Some volumes were donated in 1950 and some were purchased in 1938 at a cost of £100 alongside a collection of drawings relating to The Mitchell Library, Springburn Hall and Springburn District Library. The collection includes mostly books, with some periodicals, dating from 1827 to 1932.

Finding aid

Whitie Collection listing (PDF, 124KB)

Further reading

Biography of William Brown Whitie from Dictionary of Scottish Architects

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