Kelvin Hall History
Information about Kelvin Hall's rich history from 1901 to the present day.
Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall is a well known and loved building with a rich and varied history. It has been home to some of the city’s most exciting events, concerts and exhibitions. For more information visit the Kelvin Hall blog.
Original Opening in 1901 to Fire in 1925
There have been two Kelvin Hall buildings, the first, opened in 1918. It continued the tradition of exhibitions and entertainments on the Bunhouse Grounds. These included the Machinery Exhibition Hall for the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901. Sadly, the first Kelvin Hall building was destroyed by fire in 1925.
International Sports Arena and Museums of Transport
The whole building underwent a further redevelopment in the 1980’s. This included the creation of an International Sports Arena to host major international sporting events. Then Museum of Transport moved to Kelvin Hall from its original home in Pollokshields in 1987. International sporting events now take place at the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. The city's transport collection moved to Riverside Museum in 2012.
2014 Commonwealth Games
The Kelvin was relaunched in its current format. Today it is a unique partnership between Glasgow Life, the University of Glasgow and the National Library of Scotland. The partnership sees this historic and much loved venue transformed into an exciting new centre of cultural excellence. Kelvin Hall now offers access to collections, temporary displays, teaching and research, alongside a state-of-the-art Glasgow Club health and fitness centre.
National Library of Scotland Collections
The National Library of Scotland's collections contain a number of items relating to the history of Kelvin Hall, including:
- A map of Glasgow, 1912, on the Library's maps site
- Film of acrobats in the circus at Kelvin Hall, 1969, in the Moving Image Archive catalogue
- Footage from Kelvin Hall exhibitions and events throughout the 20th century, in the Moving Image Archive catalogue
- Details of books about the building's past, searchable with the keywords 'kelvin hall' on the Library's main catalogue.