North Street, G3 7DN
1911 (first extension completed 1963 and the St Andrew’s Halls incorporated in a third extension completed in 1981), William Brown Whitie (Cat B)
With it's distinctive copper dome, The Mitchell is Glasgow’s largest public library and one of its most famous landmarks. Pop in for the Mitchell Curious sessions (see Glasgow Life website for details) or book one of the tours to see behind the scenes.
This year we are delighted to be working in partnership with the Glasgow Motorway Archive and Glasgow City Archives on an exhibition telling the story of the Glasgow Motorway Network. To complement this exhibition we will host three Mitchell Curious events (Monday 16th at 12.30pm, Wednesday 18th at 12.30pm and Thursday 19th at 6.30pm).
The original library opened in 1877 in Ingram Street in the city centre but by the mid-1880s the Library had moved to Miller Street. However, soon problems with lack of space for both books and readers were encountered. The situation became exacerbated after the Library received a substantial bequest from the late Robert Jeffrey in 1902. In 1904, the Corporation decided to erect a new building and an architectural competition was held and plans by William B. Whitie were chosen.
The Library’s recurring problem with space meant that an extension was begun in 1939. Building work was discontinued during the WWII and this extension finally opened in 1963. In 1962, the St Andrew’s Halls was destroyed by fire, putting the adjacent Mitchell Library at considerable risk. After much debate it was agreed that the site could be used for a library extension and Edinburgh architects, Sir Frank Mears and Partners were appointed to prepare the plans. The new extension was begun in 1972 and opened in 1981. The original façade of the St Andrews Halls, with its impressive statuary, became part of the new exterior.
In 2006 library material was made available for lending for the first time in the Library’s history. In 2007 redevelopment work took place to turn the old Mitchell Theatre foyer into an impressive Surf Area with public PCs, Leisure and Lifestyle for lending, and Café. In 2008, the Business and Media section opened on Level 1, with an emphasis on electronic information resources.
The library has continued to evolve and in 2016 developed the Let’s Talk area where library visitors can use the original study tables as well as learn about the wide and varied collections within the library.
Mon-Thu, 9am-8pm; Fri & Sat, 9am-5pm
Tours: Mon-Fri 2.30pm; Sat 10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm; 60 mins
Tour meeting point: Granville Street Let’s Talk Area
Booking essential- click here.
Accessibility: Limited access - Disabled access available from Granville Street – providing access to Leisure & Lifestyle Library, main computer area and cafe. There are two public lifts to other parts of the building (including ground floor level of the old building) Entry to the old part (original building) via North Street has 5 steps and there is no lift to the upper floors. This means building tours are not suitable for wheelchair users or those with mobility issues.
Please note: Main hall is currently closed to all.
Facilities: Seating, Toilet, Wheelchair Accessible Toilet, Refreshments.
Parking: On street parking available.