Special and Named Printed Collections in the National Library of Scotland

GRAHAM BROWN COLLECTION

A large library of Alpine and mountaineering literature formed by the Edinburgh physiologist Professor Thomas Graham Brown (1882-1965) was received by the Library, through his bequest, in 1965. The collection consists of c. 20,000 items, comprising works on the history of Alpine climbing and exploration from the 16th to the 20th century, and books on climbing, travel and exploration in other parts of the world, including the Caucasus, the Andes and the Himalayas (a miscellaneous collection of nine volumes, belonging to Professor Graham Brown, was received in 1961 and is housed and shelf-marked separately from the main collection). There are also a number of works on Arctic exploration; mountaineering journals in runs of varying completeness with the contents listed in a card-index; over 250 volumes of press-cuttings; maps and extracts from periodicals; postcards and large numbers of photographs and lantern slides; and proofs of his major work Brenva. Manuscript material includes diaries for the period from 1898 to 1960, correspondence, climbing diary notebooks, and papers relating to Graham Brown’s period as editor of the Alpine Journal (1949-53), and his book, written with Sir Gavin de Beer, The First Ascent of Mont Blanc (1957). The collection includes c. 160 maps, predominantly Swiss, French and Italian maps of the 19th and the early 20th century, with the earliest being John Dury’s map of the Kingdom of Sardinia (1783). Professor Graham Brown left his estate in trust to enable additions to be made to the collection in the fields of mountaineering, and, building on the strengths of the Wordie bequest (see Wordie Collection), polar exploration. Books on all aspects of mountains and mountaineering in all languages are currently acquired, and material relating to the polar and sub-polar regions (especially in the field of discovery and exploration) is also purchased. Additions of both early and modern maps, atlases and panoramas are also regularly made to the collection. The acquisition of the Graham Brown and the Lloyd collections, has made the National Library a major centre for research in mountaineering and polar exploration. The strength of the existing collections continues to attract further substantial gifts including, in 1971, the Scottish Mountaineering Club’s deposit of their records and other documents, 1889-1959.

Mountaineering: Catalogue of the Graham Brown and Lloyd Collections, Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland, 1994 (catalogue contains printed books catalogued up to 30.6.1987, plus microfiche supplements covering acquisitions made up to the end of 1995). Typescript inventory of the manuscripts. Thomas Graham Brown 1882-1965 [exhibition catalogue], Edinburgh, 1982.

Shelfmark: GB. & G.Brown. (collection received in 1961)

Introduction  |  Search  |  List of Collections