A summary of the history of the Wellpark Free Church Literary Society is available on our sister website, Glasgow’s Literary Bonds (see ‘Additional Notes’ below).
There are three extant issues of this magazine, which together contain an eclectic mixture of prose and poetry, original artwork (pencil, pen-and-ink, and watercolour being the most popular media), along with original music compositions.
The 1883-84 issue has 153 pages with 21 contributions. After each piece, there are readers’ ‘criticisms’, or discussions on the work’s positive and negative points that were written on the blank sheets of paper that were left for this purpose. On pages 146-51 there can be found the society’s syllabus, Constitution, programmes for various meetings and musical evenings, and a notice for a local Parliamentary election. Contributors — which included men and women, members and non-members — used their own names or pen-names to sign their pieces. At the very back there is an index. The later 1887-88 and 1888 magazines are similar in also being miscellanies that include readers’ criticisms, with 203 pages and twenty contributions in the former, and 201 pages and sixteen contributions in the latter.
In each of the issues, there is a list of ‘Readers’ along with their respective addresses. There are 34 readers in the 1883-84 issue, 32 in the 1887-88 number, and 29 listed in the 1888 issue, which means that this group was of a relatively modest size and fairly stable in its membership, if these years can be said to be representative.
A full case study of this society and its magazine was published by Lauren Weiss in 2016 (see Lauren Weiss, ‘The Manuscript Magazines of the Wellpark Free Church Young Men’s Literary Society’, in Media and Print Culture Consumption in Nineteenth-Century Britain: The Victorian Reading Experience, ed. by Paul Raphael Rooney and Anna Gasperini (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), pp. 53-73).
Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine
Wellpark Free Church Young Men’s Literary Society (Glasgow)
Date of Existence
Dates of Magazine
Vol. II, No. 1 (1883-84); Vol. II, No. 1 (1887-88); 1888
Number of Issues
Contents and Contributions
Art/Illustrations (original); Articles (non-fiction); Circulation Lists; Constitution; Editorials; Essays; Fiction/Narratives; Frontispiece; Index; Letter to ‘Critic’; Letters to Editor; Magazine Rules; Maps; Music; Notice (printed); Poems (original); Programme; Readers’ criticisms; Sketches; Syllabus; Table of Contents; Title page
Mitchell Library Special Collections
1. Mitchell (AL) 428697 (1883-84 magazine);
2. Mitchell (AL), 428698-99 (1887-1888, and 1888 magazines) (Note: there are three manuscript magazines but only two separate listings in the online catalogue)