Welcome to The Glasgow School of Art’s Archives and Collections, a rich resource for the study and enjoyment of art, design, architecture and art education.

Our mission is to actively safeguard, develop, document and preserve the institutional records of GSA and the artefacts and archives of staff, students, businesses and individuals associated with the School.

We do this to make the collection accessible in order to support scholarship and research, inspire creativity, and to surface hidden narratives contained within the School’s history which are of relevance to contemporary academic and civic audiences.

Our holdings

The Archives and Collections at GSA illustrate the history of the institution and the development of its teaching practices since it was established in 1845.

The Glasgow School of Art was founded over 160 years ago and is one of the oldest Art and Design institutions in the UK. We hold almost 5000 individual items in our collections, plus circa 100 deposited archive collections and 25,000 items in the GSA institutional archive.

The majority of collections are in physical form including furniture, works on paper, sculpture, textiles, plaster casts, ceramics and metalwork, with a small amount of additional born digital material. We also hold 280 works by Charles Rennie Mackintosh that form a Museums Galleries Scotland “Recognised Collection” of national significance.

Many of the items that were acquired as teaching tools during the School’s lifetime are now held in our Archives and Collections, including plaster casts, ceramics and metalwork, along with a wide range of artworks, architectural drawings, design work and archive material relating to former students and staff, including Charles Rennie Mackintosh. We strive to reflect GSA’s continually evolving teaching practices by continuing to collect student work each year.

We hold a comprehensive institutional archive featuring a wealth of GSA related documentation, including correspondence, photographs, ephemera, student records, minute books and reports, all of which provide an insight into GSA’s people, buildings and activities.

Our Services

The GSA Archives and Collections are open to all researchers including the School’s staff and students, and external visitors including members of the general public.

We provide access to the collections through a range of services. For students and those interested in exploring the collection in detail, we offer curricula support, handling sessions, internships, placements and volunteering opportunities. For broader engagement we offer an outreach programme of exhibitions, loans and tours.  For those will more specific research interests, we have a research room and enquiry service*; and for our offsite audiences, we provide our digital offer, through the website, online catalogue and social media channels, as well as through the development of Apps.

For more information on any of the above, please email archives@gsa.ac.uk or telephone 0141 566 1418

*We can undertake up to 45 minutes research on your behalf and aim to get back to you within 20 working days.

Please watch our introductory video.


Note on harmful material: We would like to make you aware that amongst our holdings there may be historical images, or descriptions containing outdated language, which may be harmful or triggering, or perceived as controversial and potentially offensive. Please also note that some material may not be suitable for children.

GSA does not endorse or condone any ideologies or behaviours that may be associated with or that emerge from said works. Nevertheless, we believe that understanding past perceptions is of fundamental importance in experiencing historical material.

We are undertaking work to address how to appropriately present this type of material. Should you wish to contact us in the meantime, please email us at archives@gsa.ac.uk.