About Us

The Alasdair Gray Archive is a free, public resource which was established in March 2020 after Alasdair Gray’s death in late 2019.

▴ A view inside the Archive at the Whisky Bond. Photo: Alan Dimmick

We are a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) with the registration number 052417 and fundraise to deliver our program of activities. Our delivery and strategic planning is delivered by our Custodian in collaboration with our Board, we also seek support from others including our Critical Friends.

Who was Alasdair Gray?

Alasdair Gray was born in 1934 in Riddrie, Glasgow. Often referred to as a polymath, he dedicated his life to ‘making imagined objects’ across space and form. He made poems, plays, short stories, novels, political essays, marginalia, typeset and designed his books and those of others, created murals, paintings, drawings and prints. Both an artist and writer from an early age, Gray has (until recently) been best-known for his literary output, however his previously neglected work as a visual artist has seen more recent recognition due to the support from his gallerist and friend Sorcha Dallas.

Gray was arguably the most acclaimed and most influential writer in post-war Scotland. His 1981 debut novel, Lanark, is widely seen as ushering in a fertile period not only for Scotland’s literature but for its arts as a whole. In the words of Scotland’s ex-Makar and Gray contemporary Liz Lochhead, ‘he is partially responsible for transforming that landscape’.

He was a proud supporter of socialism, believing in a fair and equitable society. He lived by these principles, paying assistants at the same rate of pay as himself and valuing the ability for everyone to have the right to the freedom of thought that culture provides. This was most notable in his support of libraries and the belief in the transformative power of literature and the arts. As a child he would use books to travel and experience different worlds and cultures from his bedroom in Riddrie. This had a profound effect on Gray and is a cornerstone of the aims and objectives of The Alasdair Gray Archive. To offer that space to others, to escape and learn about themselves and others and to travel back inspired by what they have learnt.

The work of the Archive is supported by the following organisations:

Grants & Awards:
Creative Scotland
The Scottish Government
The National Archive ‘Archives Revealed’ Scoping Grant
Rebuilding Heritage Mentoring Support
Glasgow Life Arts Development Grant
Museums Galleries Scotland ‘Surviving to Thriving Business Support Program’
Graduate Careers Advantage Scotland

Oran Mor
Neu Reekie
Strathclyde University
The Glasgow School of Art
Edinburgh University