Special and Named Printed Collections in the National Library of Scotland

OBAN CATHEDRAL COLLECTION

A selection of 129 volumes from the library of the Roman Catholic diocese of Argyll and the Isles, formerly housed in Saint Columba’s Cathedral and Bishop’s House in Oban, was deposited on long-term loan in 1994. The collection ranges from the 16th to the 20th century and is mostly theological and devotional in content, but does contain some historical and linguistic works, being particularly strong in continental imprints. Some of the material complements the collection of Fort Augustus Abbey deposited in the Library in 1991 (see Fort Augustus Abbey Collection) and bears the provenance of the post-Reformation Scoto-German monasteries of Ratisbon (Regensburg) and Erfurt. The collection also contains a group of 57 Gaelic titles ranging from the 18th to the 20th century.

Shelf: Oban.

OLIPHANT COLLECTION

A collection of books and pamphlets by the novelist Mrs Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), which consists of 163 editions in 272 volumes and was presented in 1972 by Mrs Emily Valentine of Alyth, Perthshire, a descendant of Mrs Oliphant. There is also a collection of her correspondence and literary papers.

The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vol. XVI (unpublished) of the Library’s Catalogue of Manuscripts.

Shelf: Ol.

OLIVER & BOYD COLLECTION

The file-copies of the collection of the publications of the Edinburgh publishing firm Oliver & Boyd was deposited in the Library in 1978, at the same time as the first portion of their publishing records. There are c. 2000 books on many subjects, with a preponderance of school textbooks.

Awaiting cataloguing; there are author and title lists in sheaf catalogue form. Typescript inventory of the manuscripts.

Shelf: [to be assigned]

ORROCK COLLECTION

A selection of 41 volumes from the library of the Rev. Alexander Orrock (1652-1711), minister of Hawick (1691-1711), consisting of theological works, mainly of the 17th century, in both English and continental printings. The collection was deposited in 1980 by the Minister and Session of Hawick Old Parish Church.

J.J. Vernon, ‘Rev. Alexander Orrock, Hawick: Born 1652, died 1711', Transactions of the Hawick Archaeological Society, Session 1909, 11-45.

Shelf: Orr.

OSSIAN COLLECTION

Collected by J. Norman Methven of Perth, and presented in 1941, this collection of 327 volumes is devoted to the Gaelic poetry of Ossian. Beginning with the first editions of Macpherson’s Ossianic compositions Fragments of Ancient Poetry (1760), Fingal (1762), Temora (1763) and The Works of Ossian (1763), the publication of which had been supported, encouraged and financed by the literati of Edinburgh, the Ossianic cult spread throughout Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte being one its devotees. The translations of Ossian into various European languages in the collection reflect the phenomenal popularity of the works. The collection also contains works on the controversy over the authenticity of Ossian, later editions, and the influence of Ossian on European literature of both the Pre-Romantic and Romantic periods

G.F. Black, ‘Macpherson’s Ossian and the Ossianic Controversy, a Contribution towards a Bibliography’, Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 30 (1926), 424-39, 508-24. J.J. Dunn, ‘Macpherson’s Ossian and the Ossianic Controversy: a Supplementary Bibliography’, Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 75 (1971), 465-73.

Shelf: Oss.

OUSELEY ELLIOT COLLECTION

A collection of printed works, in a variety of formats, mainly by, about, or owned by Sir Charles Elliot (1801-1875) and two of his sons, Gilbert Elliot (1833-1910) and Frederick Eden Elliot (1837-1916). A large part of the collection reflects the far-flung colonial career of Sir Charles but with the main focus on his prominent role as Plenipotentiary in China during the Sino-British 'Opium War' (1839-1842). His later responsibilities are featured in publications relating to his governorship of Trinidad and St Helena. As a topic, colonial defence features prominently in the collection, containing works written or owned by Sir Charles including his comments on the proposal for a maritime militia. Other works owned by Sir Charles feature a variety of topics such as Chinese colonial administration, the Indian civil service and the colonial application of criminal law. His son, Gilbert, as a civil servant in Bombay, is the author of matters as diverse as the advantages of western Australia as a source for horses and the mineral resources of western India. Also in the collection are various pamphlets, offprints and presscuttings relating to India owned by another son, Frederick Eden. Of particular interest in this connection are presentation copies extracted from scholarly journals on Indian folklore and on early Indian settlements. The name 'Ouseley' as applied to part of the collection refers to John Ouseley, brother of the wife of Frederick Eden Elliot, in whose custody the collection later lay.

Related manuscript material is held in the Manuscripts Collections.

Shelf: Ous.Elliot

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