Printing and Publications
Clò-bhualadh agus Foillseachadh

The first Gaelic book published in Glasgow was a translation of the catechism in 1651. Of the seven ministers who translated the text, six were graduates of the University. Over the next 150 years, forty Gaelic works were published in the city, a third of the entire total worldwide. Most of the 11 separate printers involved produced only the occasional title in Gaelic, but three printers had more of a focus on Gaelic. Earliest of these was the Gaelic-speaking James Duncan who introduced the art of type-founding to Glasgow and was appointed town printer in 1719. He printed four Gaelic books at his premises at ‘the 2nd door down Gibson’s Wynd’ (now Parnie Street) which was in business from 1717 to c.1754. His son Andrew followed him in the business and was appointed printer to the University. Gaelic publishing in 18th-century Glasgow was dominated by the Orr family who operated from a shop on the corner of Gibson’s Wynd and the Saltmarket from c.1752. John Orr was a Gaelic-speaker from Bute and published 9 books before his death in 1766 when the business was taken over by his widow Anna who ran it successfully for three decades and produced 17 Gaelic books. The earliest titles were all religious works. Only in 1751 did the first secular book appear. This was Ais-Eiridh, the collection of poetry by Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair (Alexander MacDonald) which became one of the most seminal works of Gaelic literature. Although the title page claims the book was published in Edinburgh, several clues point to it having in fact been published in Glasgow by John Orr.

The pace of Gaelic-publishing began to pick up towards the end of the 18th century. The first half of the 19th century saw the publication of 114 Gaelic titles in Glasgow by 35 different publishers. Again, the majority published only occasionally in Gaelic, but a few tended to specialise. One of these was the firm of J & P Campbell at 24 Glassford Street (now the site of an NCP car park), who themselves published 7 books and advertised that they sold most of the Gaelic books available at the time. South of the river, Neil Campbell, from Gaelic-speaking Islay, advertised as a ‘Gaelic Bookseller’, at 17 Malta Street (now Norfolk Street), and published a number of Gaelic items himself.

Foirceadul Aithghearr Cheasnuighe. Gaelic translation of the shorter catechism , published in Glasgow in 1659. This image is reproduced by kind permission of Special Collections, Glasgow University Library (shelfmarks, Be6-e.24 & TCL 582).

B’ e eadar-theangachadh de leabhar nan ceist a’ chiad leabhar Gàidhlig a chaidh fhoillseachadh ann an Glaschu ann an 1651. De na seachdnar mhinistearan a dh’eadar-theangaich an teacsa, bha sianar nan ceumnaichean den Oilthigh. Thar an ath 150 bliadhna, chaidh ceathrad obair ann an Gàidhlig fhoillseachadh sa bhaile, trian den iomlan air feadh an t-saoghail. Cha robh a’ mhòr-chuid de na 11 clò-bhualadairean a bha an sàs sa ghnothaich  a’ toradh ach dìreach corra thiotal ann an Gàidhlig, ach bha barrachd cuimse aig triùir dhiubh air a’ Ghàidhlig. B’ e Seumas MacDhonnchaidh aig an robh Gàidhlig aon den fheadhainn a bu thràithe dhiubh, a chur an aithne dòigh air clò meatailt a chleachdadh ann an Glaschu agus chaidh fhastadh mar chlò-bhualadair a’ bhaile ann an 1719. Chlò-bhuail e ceithir leabhraichean Gàidhlig san togalach aige aig ‘an 2na doras sìos Gibson’s Wynd’ (a-nis Sràid Parnie), a bha fosgailte bho 1717 gu c.1754. Lean a mhac, Anndra, e a-steach don ghnothachas agus chaidh fhastadh mar chlò-bhualadair don Oilthigh.  Bha clò-bhualadh Gàidhlig san 18mh linn ann an Glaschu fo bhuaidh an Teaghlaich Orr a bha ag obair bho bhùth air oisean Gibson’s Wynd agus Margaid an t-Salainn bho mu 1752.  B’ e neach-labhairt Gàidhlig à Eilean Bhòid a bh’ ann an Iain Orr agus dh’fhoillsich e 9 leabhraichean ro a bhàs ann an 1766, nuair a chaidh an gnothachas a ghabhail thairis leis a’ bhanntraich aige, Anna, a ruith e gu soirbheachail thairis air trithead bliadhna agus a dh’fhoillsich 17 leabhraichean Gàidhlig. B’ e leabhraichean cràbhach a bha sa chiad fheadhainn uile. B’ ann an 1751 a nochd a’ chiad leabhar saoghalta. B’ e seo Ais-Eiridh, an cruinneachadh de dhàin le Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair a thàinig gu bhith mar aon de na h-obraichean bu bhuadhaiche ann an litreachas na Gàidhlig. Ged a tha a’ chiad duilleag ag aithris gun deach an leabhar fhoillseachadh ann an Dùn Èideann, tha grunn nithean a’ sealltainn gun deach fhoillseachadh ann an Glaschu le Iain Orr.

Thòisich gnìomhachas foillseachaidh ann an Gàidhlig ag èirigh faisg air deireadh an 18mh linn. Chunnaic a’ chiad leth den 19mh linn foillseachadh air 114 tiotalan Gàidhlig ann an Glaschu le  35 foillsichearan diofraichte. A-rithist, cha robh a’ mhòr-chuid a’ foillseachadh ach ainneamh ann an Gàidhlig, ach bha beagan dhiubh a bha buailteach speisealachadh. B’ e aon dhiubh sin, gnothachas J is P Caimbeul aig 24 Sràid Glassford (a-nis pàirc chàraichean NCP) a dh’fhoillsich 7 leabhraichean agus a bha a’ sanasachadh gun do reic iad a’ mhòr-chuid de leabhraichean Gàidhlig a bha rim faotainn aig an àm. Deas air an abhainn, bha Niall Caimbeul à Ìle ga shanasachadh fhèin mar ‘Reiceadair Leabhraichean Gàidhlig’ aig 17 Sràid Malta (a-nis Sràid Norfolk) agus dh’ fhoillsich e àireamh de nithean Gàidhlig e fhèin.

An Cheud Chaogad, A translation of the first fifty psalms by the Synod of Argyll, published in Glasgow in 1659. University of Glasgow Special Collections. This image is reproduced by kind permission of Special Collections, Glasgow University Library (shelfmarks, Be6-e.24 & TCL 582).

San dàrna leth den 19mh linn, thug 21 diofar foillsichear 138 pìos obrach gu buil, le còrr air 70% dhiubh le companaidh singilte. Chaidh an ‘Celtic Press’ a stèidheachadh leis an Ìleach, Gilleasabaig Mac na Ceàrdaich, ann an 1852. Bha an companaidh air a ruith le trì ginealaichean de theaghlach Mhic na Ceàrdaich agus mhair e suas ri ceud bliadhna, mus deach a ghabhail thairis leis a’ chompanaidh foillseachaidh Alasdair MacLabhrainn ann an  1951. Airson a’ chiad 50 bliadhna, bha an gnìomhachas ag obrachadh bho thogalach aig 62 Sràid Earra-Ghàidheal (air làrach Primark) a thàinig gu bhith na ‘àite-cruinneachaidh’ do Ghàidheil litreachail Ghlaschu. Thar a bheatha gu h-iomlan, thug an Celtic Press mu 160 tiotal Gàidhlig no ceangailte ri Gàidhlig gu buil.

Anns na deicheadan mu dheireadh den 19mh linn, bha Glaschu air gabhail thairis bho Dhùn Èideann mar am prìomh àite airson foillseachadh Gàidhlig, agus tha e air leantainn a’ toirt buaidh air an roinn gus an latha an-diugh. Thug stèidheachadh air a’ Chomann Ghàidhealach ann an 1891 cuideachadh mòr do fhoillseachadh ann an Glaschu, oir bha a’ mhòr-chuid de fhoillseachaidhean na buidhne air an toradh sa bhaile le Alasdair MacLabhrainn, companaidh a bha gu h-àraid gnìomhach eadar na cogaidhean. Chuir an Dàrna Cogadh Mòr stad air foillseachadh Gàidhlig agus bha an gnìomhachas mall a’ tilleadh thuige. Ann an 1970, chaidh liosta MhicLabhrainn a ghabhail thairis le Foillseachaidhean Gairm, a bha air a stèidheachadh ann an 1958 le Ruaraidh MacThòmais, Àrd-Ollamh na Ceiltis san Oilthigh, mar iomairt taic don ràitheachan Gàidhlig aige, Gairm. Thar nan deicheadan às dèidh sin, thug Foillseachaidhean Gairm còrr air 100 tiotal gu bith.

In the second half of the 19th century, 21 different publishers produced 138 works, over 70% of them by a single company, ‘The Celtic Press’. Founded by Islayman Archibald Sinclair in 1852, the firm was run by three generations of Sinclair’s family and lasted for almost a century, before being taken over by the publishing firm of Alexander MacLaren in 1951. For its first 5 decades, the business operated from premises at 62 Argyle Street (on the site of Primark) which became a ‘mecca’ for the city’s literary Gaels. Over its entire life, The Celtic Press produced about 160 Gaelic or Gaelic-related titles.

By the final decades of the 19th century, Glasgow had taken over from Edinburgh as the leading centre of Gaelic publishing and has continued to dominate the sector ever since. The founding of An Comunn Gàidhealach in 1891 gave Gaelic publishing in Glasgow a major boost as most of the organisation’s publications were produced in the city by Alexander MacLaren, a company which was particularly active between the wars. The Second World War brought a halt to Gaelic publishing and activity was slow to resume. In 1970 MacLaren’s list was taken over by Gairm Publications, which had been founded in 1958 by Ruaraidh MacThòmais, Derick Thomson, Prof. of Celtic at the University, as an ancilliary enterprise to his Gaelic quarterly Gairm. Over the following decades Gairm Publications produced over 100 titles.

Periodicals

Glasgow has played an important role in the publishing of Gaelic newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals. The first ever Gaelic periodical, An Rosroine, was published in Glasgow in 1803 (it ran for only 4 issues). Far greater impact was made by An Teachdaire Gae’lach, founded in 1829 by ‘Caraid nan Gael’ Norman MacLeod. This monthly publication sought to instruct and entertain its readership, many of whom were only newly literate, on a very wide range of topics including science and technology, history and life in foreign countries, as well as religion and topics of specifically Highland and Gaelic interest. It had the explicit aim of extending the range of written Gaelic beyond the purely religious and succeeded in establishing a new standard of Gaelic prose writing. Although it lasted only 2 years it had a major impact on the Gaelic community throughout Scotland, together with its successor publications An Teachdaire Gaidhealach (1835-6) and Cuairtear nan Gleann (1840-43). A number of Glasgow-based Gaelic periodicals sprang up over the rest of the century, with varying success. Gaelic material also appeared in predominantly English-medium periodicals published in Glasgow, such as The Celtic Monthly (1892-1917). An Comunn Gaidhealach’s monthly magazine An Deò-Grèine, later renamed An Gaidheal, was published in Glasgow and ran from 1905-1967.

By far the most significant Gaelic periodical of the 20th century was the literary and topical magazine Gairm, founded in 1951 by Ruaraidh MacThòmais, Derick S. Thomson, Professor of Celtic at the University of Glasgow and Fionnlagh Domhnallach, Finlay J. MacDonald. The quarterly magazine showcased poetry, short stories, prose, and translations of European literature, and included work by almost all the influential Gaelic writers of the 20th century. Gairm debuted some of the most influential Gaelic poetry of the time, most notably, Sorley MacLean’s masterpiece ‘Hallaig’, which it published in 1954. Over 200 issues were produced before it ceased publication in 2004.

Gairm Cover. An-t-earrach Spring, 1958.

Ràitheachain

Tha pàirt cudromach air a bhith aig Glaschu ann am foillseachadh phàipearan-naidheachd, irisean is ràitheachain Ghàidhlig eile. Chaidh a’ chiad ràitheachan Gàidhlig a-riamh, An Rosroine, fhoillseachadh ann an Glaschu ann an 1803 (a’ toradh dìreach 4 eagrain). Thug An Teachdaire Gae’lach, buaidh mòran nas motha, a chuireadh air bhonn ann an 1829 le ‘Caraid nan Gael’, Tormod MacLeòid. Bha am mìosachan seo a’ sireadh ri a luchd-leughaidh ionnsachadh agus tlachd fhaighinn às, le mòran dhiubh a bha dìreach ùr-litearra, le raon glè fharsaing de chuspairean a’ gabhail a-steach saidheans is teicneòlas, eachdraidh is beatha ann an dùthchannan cèin, a thuilleadh air creideamh agus cuspairean gu sònraichte Gàidhealach agus Gàidhlig. Bha amas sònraichte aige an raon de Ghàidhlig sgrìobhte a leudachadh seachad air dìreach creideamh, agus shoirbhich leis gu ìre ùr de sgrìobhadh rosg Gàidhlig a stèidheachadh. Ged nach do mhair e ach 2 bhliadhna, bha prìomh bhuaidh aige air a’ choimhearsnachd Ghàidhlig ann an Alba, còmhla ri na foillseachaidhean a lean e, An Teachdaire Gaidhealach (1835-6) agus Cuairtear nan Gleann (1840-43). Thòisich àireamh de ràitheachain Gàidhlig stèidhichte ann an Glaschu a’ tighinn am bàrr sa chòrr den dùthaich, le diofar soirbheachaidh. Thòisich stuth Gàidhlig a’ nochdadh cuideachd ann an ràitheachain Beurla air am foillseachadh ann an Glaschu, leithid The Celtic Monthly (1892-1917). Chaidh iris mhìosail a’ Chomainn Ghàidhealaich, An Deò-Grèine, ath-ainmichte gu An Gaidheal, fhoillseachadh ann an Glaschu agus ruith e bho 1905-1967.

B’ e iris litreachail agus chuspaireil Gairm an ràitheachan Gàidhlig bu mhotha a thug buaidh san 20mh linn, air a stèidheachadh ann an 1951 le Ruaraidh MacThòmais, Àrd-Ollamh Ceiltis ann an Oilthigh Ghlaschu agus Fionnlagh Domhnallach, Finlay J. MacDonald. Bha an ràitheachan a’ mòr-thaisbeanadh bàrdachd, rosg, agus eadar-theangachaidhean de litreachas Eòrpach, agus a’ gabhail a-steach obair leis a’ mhòr-chuid de sgrìobhadairean Gàidhlig san 20mh linn. Thug Gairm àrd-ùrlar do chuid den bhàrdachd Ghàidhlig a bu bhuadhaiche san linn againn, gu h-àraid ‘Hallaig’, sàr-obair Shomhairle MhicGill-eathain a dh’fhoillsich iad ann an 1954. Chaidh còrr air 200 eagran a thoirt gu buil mus do stad iad ga   fhoillseachadh ann an 2004.

Gairm Cover. Am Foghar Autumn, 1959.

’S e Aiste, ràitheachan Gàidhlig Oilthigh Ghlaschu, as ùire sa bhaile, air a stèidheachadh ann an 2007. ’S e foillseachadh acadaimigeach a th’ ann a’ coimhead gu sònraichte ri sgrùdadh air litreachas Gàidhlig, meadhan-aoiseil agus nuaidh-aimsireil, a thuilleadh air na cànanan sa bheil an litreachas sin sgrìobhte, agus na cultaran is eachdraidhean a tha a’ toirt co-theacsa dhaibh. Tha e ùr-ghnàthach ann an còmhdach an dà chuid Gàidhlig na h-Alba agus na h-Èireann.

The most recent Gaelic periodical in the city is the University of Glasgow’s Aiste, founded in 2007. It is an academic journal devoted to the study of Gaelic literature, medieval and modern, as well as to the languages in which that literature is written, and the cultures and histories which give it context. It is innovative in covering both Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic.

An Comann Leabhraichean

Chaidh Comhairle nan Leabhraichean a stèidheachadh ann an 1968 mar thaic do leasachadh air sgrìobhadh Gàidhlig agus meudachadh air raon, càileachd, agus buaidh litreachas na Gàidhlig. Le maoineachadh bho Alba Chruthachail is Bòrd na Gàidhlig agus teachd-a-steach bho reic leabhraichean, tha e ag amas air taic a thoirt do dh’ùghdaran Gàidhlig agus do ghnìomhachas foillseachaidh na Gàidhlig le bhith a’ buileachadh thabhartasan is choimiseanan. Stèidhichte sa chiad àite ann an Roinn Ceiltis Oilthigh Ghlaschu, tha e a-nis a’ fastadh còignear luchd-obrach làn-ùine agus a thogalach fhèin is bùth-leabhraichean aig 32 Sràid Achadh a’ Mhansa ann am Partaig. Tha an carthannas mar am prìomh bhuidheann airson litreachas na Gàidhlig, a’ cur tuilleadh taic ris le bhith a’ ruith chùrsaichean trèanaidh, mar eisimpleir ann an sgilean deasachaidh Gàidhlig agus sgrìobhadh do na meadhanan Gàidhlig, agus le sreath de dhuaisean airson sgrìobhadh ùr, le Duais Dhòmhnaill Meek mar am fear as cliùitiche dhiubh sin. Am measg ghnìomhachdan eile, tha club leabhraichean do sgoiltean, Leugh is Seinn le Linda, seiseanan ‘leugh is seinn’ do phàrantan agus clann ro-sgoile, agus com-pàirteachadh ann am fèisean is tachartasan coimhearsnachd air feadh na dùthcha.

Tha a’ Bhùth Leabhraichean a’ cumail an raon as fharsainge a tha ri fhaotainn an àite sam bith de stuthan Gàidhlig no ceangailte ri Gàidhlig, a’ gabhail a-steach leabhraichean, cairtean, CDan agus DVDan. Tha e cuideachd ag obrachadh bùth air-loidhne a’ còmhdach nan leabhraichean Gàidhlig uile a tha gu làithreach ann an clò. Tha an stoc a’ gabhail a-steach obraichean air cuspairean eadar-mheasgte leithid eachdraidh-beatha, spòrs, siubhal, creideamh, ceòl, ealain, eachdraidh, beul-aithris, rannsachadh acadaimigeach, eadar-theangachaidhean, leabhraichean do chlann òg agus clann nas sine, leabhraichean do luchd-ionnsachaidh, faclairean agus goireasan ionnsachaidh eile. A thuilleadh air cruthan traidiseanta thathar a’ reic nobhailean grafaigeach, leabhraichean èisteachd agus e-leabhraichean. Tha foillseachadh Gàidhlig ann an Glaschu air a thighinn astar fada!

Gaelic Books Council

The Gaelic Books Council was established in 1968 to support the development of Gaelic writing and increase the range, quality, and impact of Gaelic literature. With funding from Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig and revenue from sales it aims to support Gaelic authors and the Gaelic publishing industry by awarding grants and commissions. Originally based in the University of Glasgow’s Celtic Department, it now employs five full-time members of staff and has its own premises and bookshop at 32 Mansfield Street in Partick. The charity is the lead organisation for Gaelic literature and further supports it by running training courses, for instance in Gaelic editorial skills and writing for Gaelic media, and by a series of awards for new writing, the most prestigious of which is the annual Donald Meek Award. Other activities include a book club for schools, Leugh is Seinn le Linda  a fun ‘read and sing’ sessions for parents and pre-school children, and participation in festivals and community-based events nationwide.

The Bookshop stocks the widest range of Gaelic- and Gaelic-related material available anywhere, including books, cards, CDs and DVDs,. It also operates an on-line shop covering virtually all Gaelic books currently in print. Its stock includes works on diverse subjects, including biography, sport, travel, religion, music, art, history, oral tradition, academic research, translations, books for young and older children, books for learners, dictionaries and other instructional aids. In addition to traditional formats it sells graphic novels, audio-books, and ebooks. Gaelic publishing in Glasgow has come a long way!