Special and Named Printed Collections in the National Library of Scotland
W.A. DWIGGINS COLLECTION
This selection of 20 items connected with the American designer, calligrapher, illustrator and typographer, William Addison Dwiggins (1880-1956), was donated by Miss Dorothy Abbe in 1979 (19 items were donated by Miss Abbe, another was presented by Ruari McLean (see Ruari McLean Collection) in 1992), and contains a number of fine examples of early 20th-century book design and illustration from the USA.
WALTER BLAIKIE COLLECTION
Formed by Dr Walter Biggar Blaikie (1847-1928) of the Edinburgh printing firm of T. & A. Constable, and presented by his daughters in 1928, this collection is devoted to the Stuart and Jacobite period, 1688-1746. Blaikie was a recognized authority on the history of Jacobitism, and his collection of 1,076 printed items in 756 volumes, 42 manuscripts, three charters and c. 400 engravings relate to the attempts of the House of Stuart to reinstate itself on the throne of Great Britain. There is a good representation of polemical pamphlet literature on the controversy over the birth of James II’s son in 1689, and the associated political questions of allegiance and legitimacy; historical works on the course of the Risings of 1715 and 1745 are complemented by contemporary poems, satires and sermons, many in French; and there are accounts of the trials, executions and expropriations that followed both Risings with the Government viewpoint recorded in the numerous Session Papers and Acts of Parliament concerned with these matters. There are also 22 portfolios of engravings of the Royal House of Stuart - portraits, views, broadsides, and caricatures - which have been placed by the National Library on long-term deposit in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. A small number of engravings have been retained in the Library’s collection.
Shelf-Catalogue of the Blaikie Collection of Jacobite Pamphlets, Broadsides and Proclamations, Boston, 1964. The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vols. I & II of the Library’s Catalogue of Manuscripts. W.G. Blaikie Murdoch, ‘A Bequest of Engravings to the National Library of Scotland’, Apollo, 13 (1931), 167-73. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, W.B. Blaikie Collection, [Edinburgh, 1987].`
WARDEN SHORTHAND COLLECTION
The collection formed by John Mabon Warden, of Edinburgh, Vice-President of the Esperantista Akademio, was presented to the Library in 1927. Warden built up a comprehensive collection of shorthand manuals from the 16th to the 20th century, mainly in English, but with c. 500 works in foreign languages, together with works of literature, sermons, reports of trials, etc. reproduced in shorthand. The collection contains c. 4,600 printed items comprising books, pamphlets and runs of periodicals, and 60 manuscripts. STC (see p. 3) and Wing (see p. 3) items include Timothy Bright’s Characterie, an Arte of Shorte, Swifte and Secrete Writing by Character (1588), Samuel Botley’s Maximum in Minimo (1674), William Hopkins’ The Flying Pen-man (1674), and editions of Thomas Shelton’s Tachygraphy and Tutor, Jeremiah Rich’s The Pen’s Dexterity Completed, and William Mason’s Pen Pluck’d from an Eagle’s Wing. A large section of the collection is devoted to the work of Sir Isaac Pitman and his successors, including books reprinted in Pitman’s phonography or modifications of it.
Typescript inventory of the manuscripts.
A collection of 19th-century playbills, posters, programmes, photographs and newspaper cuttings, 525 items in all, mainly of Edinburgh theatres of the period 1870-1900, presented in 1970 by Miss Kathleen Weir, who inherited them from her father, James J. Weir. One of the earliest playbills in the collection advertises a performance of Rob Roy in the Theatre Royal on 11 March 1829 with Charles Mackay playing Bailie Nicol Jarvie. Particularly attractive are the examples of the pictorial posters of the later part of the 19th century, featuring scenes from the plays or portraits of the leading actors and actresses. It is complemented as a source of materials for the history of the Scottish stage by a general collection of Scottish playbills of the 19th and the 20th century, to which additions continue to be made.
Mary Fleming, ‘Old Edinburgh Theatre Posters’, Scotland’s SMT Magazine, (December 1950), 38-41.
Donated by Mrs I.F. Westlake in 1974, this collection of 21 items bound in 12 volumes (16 ESTC and 5 Wing - see p. 3) was originally in the collection of Jacobite and family material inherited by her grandfather, Alexander Pelham Trotter. The collection includes works on King Charles I, bibles and prayer books, including an imperfect copy of a miniature bible, Biblia, or A Practical Summary of ye Old & New Testaments (London, 1727), the rare first issue of the first English children’s bible. There are also a number of items connected with Trotter’s great-grandfather, Sir Robert Strange (1721-92), an important 18th-century artist, who was born in Kirkwall in the Orkneys and took part in the Jacobite rebellion in 1745-46, before establishing himself as one of the foremost engravers in Europe. These items include five annotated Christie’s sale catalogues, dating from the 1770s, for pictures collected by Strange on the Continent.
WILLIAM BEATTIE COLLECTION
A small selection (98 items) of books, pamphlets and off-prints from the library of William Beattie (1903-86), Keeper of Printed Books in the National Library 1931-53, and Librarian 1953-70. These books are mostly presentation copies from the authors, and they illustrate Beattie’s interests in bibliography and Scottish literature and his friendship with leading scholars in those fields. They were acquired by the Library in 1986-88, along with some letters and papers received by the Department of Manuscripts, most notably notes for, and a draft of, his 1965 Lyell Lectures on the history of the Library.
A miscellaneous collection of 205 books and pamphlets belonging to Rt Hon Dr Arthur Woodburn (1890-1978), Labour politician and Secretary of State for Scotland 1947-50. It comprises items relating to the Labour Party, as well as music and travel ephemera, and books in French and Italian. The printed items were received as part of a bequest of personal papers in 1979.
Typescript inventories of the manuscripts.
This collection of works on Arctic and Antarctic exploration was formed by Sir James Mann Wordie (1889-1962), explorer and scholar, Master of St John’s College, Cambridge (1952-59). Presented to the Library in 1959, it contains over 4,600 printed items, comprising books, journals (including runs of foreign journals such as Meddelelser om Grønland), c. 2,000 pamphlets, 16 maps, and 68 volumes of correspondence and papers, many concerned with the Colonial Office’s Discovery Committee. The collection includes not only technical reports of scientific expeditions, and the results of polar research, but also popular accounts of travel and exploration, whale-fishing and folklore. Mostly published during the period 1850-1940, by far the greater part of the collection is in English, but there are works in German, French, Scandinavian, Dutch, Spanish (chiefly Argentine publications), and a few other languages. The earliest work is the second edition of Purchas his Pilgrimage (1614), and there are c. 60 works published in the 18th century. Material on the polar regions, particularly works relating to discovery and exploration, continues to be acquired under the terms of the Graham Brown bequest (see Graham Brown Collection).
Shelf Catalogue of the Wordie Collection of Polar Exploration, Boston, 1964. The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vol. VIII of the Library’s Catalogue of Manuscripts.