Our Literary Album

Helensburgh Young Men’s Association, Our Literary Album, Part 1, January 1867 (Live Argyll, DR/1/200/8). Permission to use this photograph is kindly granted by Live Argyll.


The one (extant?) issue of this magazine currently housed in Argyll and Bute Archives is a photocopy of the original manuscript.

The ‘Order of Circulation’ at the front of the issue lists 36 male members. From the ‘Introductory remarks by the Editor’, we learn that the society met weekly on Tuesday evenings.

This group is particularly notable for their very keen desire to found a society magazine, in that they probably produced it within about a week:

‘The proposal of having Manuscript Magazine in connection with our Association, first suggested at one meeting, adopted at the next, and the result is in the hands of the members at the third’ (‘Introductory remarks by the Editor’, Helensburgh Young Men’s Association, Our Literary Album, Part 1, January 1867, [p. 2]).

Contributors to the magazine were also members of this association with one exception: the critical remarks that follow the article, ‘God and Chance’, credit ‘the Lady who wrote it’. It was not unusual for women to contribute to mutual improvement and literary society magazines that were produced by groups composed of exclusively male members.

The magazine consists of 53 pages of contributions — prose articles and essays, poems, illustrations and a musical score — along with an informal introduction to the ‘Critical Remarks’ (one page), and 13 (unnumbered) pages of readers’ criticisms.

Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine

Helensburgh Young Men’s Association

Date of Existence

1861 or 1862?-?

Date of Magazine

January 1867

Number of Issues


Manuscript/Published Magazine

(Photocopy of the manuscript original)

Contents and Contributions

Art/Illustrations (original); Articles (non-fiction); Circulation List; Editorial; Essays; Music; Poems (original); Table of Contents; Title page


Argyll and Bute Archives (Lochgilphead)