Special and Named Printed Collections in the National Library of Scotland

LORD GEORGE DOUGLAS COLLECTION

The collection of books formed by Lord George Douglas, youngest son of the 1st Duke of Queensberry, who died a young man in 1693(?). It was presented to the Faculty of Advocates by his father and received by the Library in 1695. There are over 800 items (so far identified as being from the bequest) of the 16th and the 17th century, mostly continental printings. Legal works predominate (Lord George had studied law during his extended Grand Tour which lasted from April 1686 to January 1693), followed by Italian literature, and Greek and Latin literature and works on classical antiquities. The Duke had some of the bindings stamped with his own arms before presenting them. The bequest included two manuscripts, an Italian copy of Virgil of 1467 and a history of the Reformation in the Palatinate. Apparently at some date during the 18th century the Douglas books had ceased to be maintained as a separate collection, and in 1925, on the formation of the National Library, the collection was divided, with the law books being retained by the Advocates’ Library and the rest by the National Library. Books from the donation are inscribed on a front fly-leaf: ‘Lib: D: D: Georgij Douglas Bibliothecć Facultatis Juridicć Edinburgi Donat:’.

Faculty of Advocates Faculty Record 198 contains a manuscript catalogue of the donation. W.A. Kelly, ‘Lord George Douglas (1667/1668?-1693?) and his Library’ in The Stair Society, Miscellany three (edited by W.M. Gordon), Edinburgh, 1992, 160-172. ----, The Library of Lord George Douglas (ca. 1667/8?-1693?) : an Early Donation to the Advocates’ Library, Cambridge, 1997.

Shelfmark: Not kept together as a collection, but 159 volumes, chiefly French and Italian books, are placed at Hall.292.

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