What records can I find in The Mitchell: Special Collections and Glasgow City Archives?
Please note that some volumes are currently temporarily unavailable as they are being digitised for the Ancestry website. We apologise for the inconvenience caused. Please ask staff at The Mitchell for assistance.
Voters’ rolls, or electoral registers, list those people eligible to vote in local, parliamentary and other national elections. Special Collections and the City Archives both hold voters' rolls for Glasgow. In addition the Archives has voters' rolls for areas absorbed into Glasgow as well as for areas of the former Strathclyde Regional Council.
Not everyone had the vote. Very few people were eligible pre-1832, when the system was reformed. Subsequent acts of parliament in 1868 and 1884 further increased the numbers of males eligible to vote. In 1918 all men over 21 were eligible to vote and all women over 30.
Only males could vote from 1832 to 1918 in parliamentary elections. Women could vote in municipal elections. Unmarried women and married women, not living with their husband, who were proprietors or tenants, could vote for: burgh councillors from 1882 and county councillors from 1889. In 1930 all men and women over 21 were eligible to vote.
The voters' rolls include the following information:
Special Collections has the voters' rolls and street indices for Glasgow. These include:
1846-current year, parliamentary elections
1872-1885, municipal elections, persons living outside the parliamentary boundaries
1898/9, municipal elections, males living outside the parliamentary boundaries
1900/1901, municipal elections
1885-1892, municipal elections, female voters
Registers were not compiled for some of the war years: 1915-1917 or 1941-1944.
These voters' rolls are on open access with the exception of the current Voters' Roll. This can only be consulted under supervision and cannot be copied.
Conditions apply for providing copies from the historical voters’ rolls. Please ask staff for assistance.
In addition to the standard voters' rolls for Glasgow, the City Archives also holds the following:
Glasgow, manuscript volumes, arranged alphabetically, 1833-1854
Glasgow, absent voters, 1920, which lists names of armed forces
areas absorbed into Glasgow, including: Govan, Hillhead, Kelvindale, Partick and Pollokshaws, municipal and parliamentary elections, 1890s to 1912 (incomplete)
Rutherglen, 1832-1931, 1926 and 1928-1936 (part of Glasgow voters' rolls), 1975-1996
Dumbartonshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, mainly 20th century, with occasional early lists of voters as part of Family and Estate Records