Special and Named Printed Collections in the National Library of Scotland

NICHOL SMITH COLLECTION

A collection of over 900 books presented by Professor D. Nichol Smith (1875-1962), formerly Merton Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford, in 1959, though he added some small benefactions after this date. It was begun by Nichol Smith in the 1890s when he was working on the relations between French and English literary criticism. As a result the books are mainly works of literature and literary criticism, published in the late 17th and the 18th century, which illustrate the intellectual and cultural links between French and English literature at that period. The majority of the books are in French or French translations, but also included are works in Latin, Greek, Italian and English. Additions which Nichol Smith made to the main collection include editions of Defoe’s works, a number of volumes of poetry of the early 19th century, and a group of 14 books in which Anglo-Saxon types were used. These include a copy of Aelfric’s A Testimonie of Antiquitie printed by John Day in 1566, the first book printed in Anglo-Saxon type. Professor Nichol Smith also bequeathed his correspondence to the Library.

A.S. Bell, ‘Nichol Smith Collections in Edinburgh and Oxford’, Studies in the Eighteenth Century II: Papers Presented at the Second David Nichol Smith Memorial Seminar Canberra 1970. Canberra, 1973. The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vol. XIII (unpublished) of the Library’s Catalogue of Manuscripts.

Shelfmark: DNS.

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