Special and Named Printed Collections in the National Library of Scotland
BALFOUR HANDEL COLLECTION
The collection of first and other early editions of the works of Georg Händel (1685-1759), c. 500 printed music scores and over 100 libretti, formed by the noted collector Julian Marshall (1836-1903). It was acquired in 1876 by Arthur J. Balfour (1848-1930), later Prime Minister, and was bought by the Library from the Trustees of his estate in 1938. Additions continue to be made to the collection, including the more important foreign works relating to the composer.
Early editions of music in the collection are described, with shelf-marks, in William C. Smith, Handel: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Early Editions, 2nd ed. with supplement, Oxford, 1970.
A selection of 35 volumes of mainly literary works, a number of which are association copies and all in fine condition, including Hesiod’s Opera Omnia, printed by Bodoni at Parma in 1785, from the Pesaro Library, Venice. The collection was bequeathed by Charles Ballantyne (d. 1985) and received by the Library in 1986.
This collection of 57 volumes of German literature and German translations of foreign literature was presented to the Library in 1957 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. The books, published mainly between 1839 and 1860, include the works of Lessing, Lichtenberg, Jean Paul and J.H. Voss, and have a distinguished provenance, as they contain Queen Victoria’s Balmoral bookplate and were possibly collected by Prince Albert.
A selection of printed material, photographs, manuscripts and maps relating primarily to the island of South Georgia and the South Georgia Survey Expedition of 1955-56, which was bequeathed to the Library by Louis Charles Baume (1919-93). A keen mountaineer and collector of literature relating to mountaineering and polar exploration, Baume was elected to the Alpine Club in 1952 and took part in the survey of South Georgia under the leadership of Duncan Carse. His latter years were spent as a bookdealer and building up his own collection. The printed items in the bequest consist mainly of periodical issues and official reports; the photographic material consists of c. 300 photographs taken by a fellow member of the South Georgia expedition, George Spencely, and are kept in the Library's Photographs collection (Phot.sm.21); the manuscript material includes papers, 1924-27, of Robert Wyllie Lloyd (see Lloyd Collection).
An obituary of Louis Baume by George Spencely is in The Alpine Journal, 100 (1995), 339-40. Typescript inventory of the manuscripts. The maps are held in the Map Library.
BERT DALE MEMORIAL COLLECTION
This is a small collection of black and white photographs of views of Scotland, dated from 1914 to 1932, from the archive of the Glasgow-based firm Millar & Lang. The firm was a publisher of postcards, wedding stationery, greetings cards and calendars; it went into liquidation in 1982. The collection was donated in 2003 by Mr Colin Dale, whose father worked as a sales manager for Millar and Lang.
A collection of c. 260 volumes, including 35 volumes of pamphlets, selected from the library of the Scottish printer J.A. Birkbeck (d. 1971), and received in 1971. These are mainly 20th-century works dealing with printing processes, the history of printing, lettering, type and typography; there is also manuscript material relating to the same subjects. The collection contains a number of examples of typefounders’ specimens and printing trade journals, a subsidiary theme being a group of 19th- and 20th-century guide-books relating to Scotland. In addition to the books and manuscripts, the collection includes composing sticks, printing types, wood-engraved blocks, binders’ tools, and an example of a hand type mould.
Typescript inventory of the manuscripts.
A group of 502 volumes collected by Lady Evelyn Stewart Murray (1868-1940), and presented in 1958 by the 10th Duke of Atholl. They consist mainly of religious and literary works in Scottish Gaelic, including 19th-century editions of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, hymn-books and song-books, translations of the works of such writers as John Bunyan, Thomas Boston and Peter Grant, and a number of the Gaelic tracts published by Peter Drummond in Stirling. The collection also contains books, pamphlets and journals dealing with the other Celtic languages and societies.
BLAIRS COLLEGE LIBRARY
In 1974 the Trustees of St Mary's College, Blairs, Aberdeen, deposited on long-term loan the library of the College, which was founded in 1829 to train students for the Catholic priesthood. As the only such institution in Scotland it accumulated books and manuscripts both from the Scots Colleges founded on the Continent at Douai, Paris, Rome and Valladolid after the Reformation, and from the semi-clandestine seminaries established within Scotland during the 18th century. The collection contains c. 27,000 books and pamphlets (over 50 manuscripts were also deposited in the National Library but were returned to the depositor in 2005). There are 17 incunables, c. 200 STC (see p. 3) and 1,000 Wing (see p. 3) items, and c. 13,500 books printed before 1801. Works on theology and religious controversy naturally predominate, but the collection covers a wide range of subjects, including French and English literature, history, geography, natural history, science, architecture, numismatics, agriculture and accountancy. Several works in the library are only-known copies: John Weddingtonýs A Breffe Instruction, and Manner, Howe to Kepe, Marchantes Bokes of Accompts (Antwerp, 1567); a work by John Hamilton, last pre-Reformation Archbishop of St Andrews, Ane Godlie Exhortatioun (St Andrews or Edinburgh, 1559) - known as 'The Twapenny Faith'; and 'The Copland Tracts', containing nine devotional tracts printed in London by Robert Copland in 1522-31. A notable feature of the collection is the large number of books with provenance and association interest, and the close links between the Scots College in Paris and the exiled Stuart court at St Germain-en-Laye are highlighted by a fine group of Jacobite bindings with the armorial stamps of members of the Royal House and their prominent supporters.
The medieval manuscripts, formerly deposited in the Library, are described in detail in N.R. Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, Oxford, 1977, 2, 113-29. T.A. Cherry, 'The Library of St Mary's College, Blairs', Bulletin of the Association of British Theological and Philosophical Libraries, n.s. 3 (1975), 10-13. ----, 'The Library of St Mary's College, Blairs, Aberdeen', The Bibliotheck, 12 (1984), 61-69. W.S. Mitchell, 'Blairs College Bindings', Aberdeen University Review, 32 (1949), 23-29. D. McRoberts, 'What the Church has done for Scholars ...', Scottish Catholic Observer, 5 July 1974. ----, 'Catholic Library becomes National Asset', Aberdeen Press and Journal, 6 July 1974. J. Robertson, 'Aberdeen Libraries in Move to Edinburgh', The Scotsman, 6 July 1974. ----, 'Blairs Treasures come to Edinburgh', Scottish Catholic Observer, 28 February 1975.
A collection of materials formed by Sir Angus McKay Fraser and bequeathed in 2002 by his son Simon Fraser. It comprises books written and translated by the linguist and traveller George Borrow (1803-1881). The items include monographs and journals about Borrow and his work, as well as books formerly owned by him, such as several editions and translations of his masterwork 'Lavengro'. The dominant non-fiction works covered are Gypsy language and culture, Welsh language, culture, folklore and geography, Spanish and French culture, religious life and civil liberty.
The nucleus of this collection of early English plays was formed by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762). It was built up by her son-in-law, the third Earl of Bute (1713-92), and added to substantially by her grandson, the first Marquis of Bute (1744-1814), who most notably acquired the Shakespeare quartos. The collection was bought from Major Michael Crichton Stuart in 1956 and contains 1,266 English plays and includes 17 16th-century editions, 530 17th-century and 650 18th-century editions. The earliest work is John Lyly's Sapho and Phao (1584). There are 39 Shakespeare quartos, 16 printed before the first folio in 1623, including first editions of The Second Part of Henrie the Fourth (1600), The Merchant of Venice (1600), and Troilus and Cressida (1609) and many examples of 17th- and 18th-century adaptations of Shakespeare's works. The other Elizabethan, Jacobean and Caroline dramatists are mostly well represented, notably Lyly, Chapman, Middleton, Dekker (including a perfect copy of The Converted Curtezan of 1604), John Ford, Massinger, Shirley, Webster, etc. Among Restoration and 18th-century dramatists Dryden is pre-eminent with 30 plays, and there are first editions of Congreve, Vanbrugh, Farquhar, Addison, Steele and Sheridan. These leading figures in the English drama are complemented by the works of a host of minor playwrights of the 18th and the 19th century. The collection also includes a number of prompt books, mainly of the 19th century, from the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.
The Shakespeare quartos are recorded (as Crichton Stuart copies) in H.C. Bartlett and A.W. Pollard, A Census of Shakespeare's Plays in Quarto, 1594-1709, New Haven, 1939. M.P. Linton, 'The Bute Collection of English Plays', Times Literary Supplement, 21 December 1956, 772. ----, 'The Bute Collection of English Plays', Friends of the National Libraries Annual Report 1956-57, 8-10. ----, 'The Bute Collection of English Plays', Stechert-Hafner Book News, April 1958, 89-91. ----, 'Prompt-books in the Bute Collection of English Plays', Theatre Notebook, 11 (October 1956), 20-23. ----, 'National Library of Scotland and Edinburgh University Library Copies of Plays in Greg's Bibliography of the English Printed Drama', Studies in Bibliography, 15 (1962), 91-104. W.T. Johnston, Scottish dramatists [electronic resource], Livingston, 2005.