October 2007

Here is some information on a sample of items recently acquired by Rare Book Collections at the National Library of Scotland.

Peter Pan cards

Peter Pan
Peter Pan.

We recently bought 20 large-format cards which tell the story of Peter Pan. 'Peter Pan, or the boy who never grew up' was written by the Scottish author J M Barrie. It was first published in 1904.

The colour illustrations are by Flora White, a little-known artist. She was a children's books illustrator who often used fairy images. She also designed postcards with pictures of children.



A Robert Burns binding

Bronze head on book cover
Binding detail

A classical figure with a laurel wreath adorns the front cover of a copy of Robert Burns' 'Works'. It probably represents one of the muses of poetry. The figure forms part of a raised copper plate medallion. The back board is covered with velvet, but the material has been rubbed off on the front cover and the spine.

Unfortunately, the title page is missing. We cannot definitely say when the book was published, but it was probably in the 1880s. We purchased it because of the unusual binding.



A private magazine

Illustration from title page
Caberfeigh title page

Isobel Mackenzie (1852-1880) was the niece of the author R M (Robert Michael) Ballantyne. She contracted tuberculosis as a child, and her parents gave her a Berri's People's Printing Press to entertain her. She used this press to print six issues of a magazine she called 'Caberfeigh'.

The magazine is very entertaining and full of satirical humour. It is an extraordinary example of private printing. The bound set of the magazine we have was given to Isobel as a Christmas present for 1874.

'Caberfeigh' also contains 14 tipped-in albumen photographs, mainly of family and friends. Only one other set of this magazine is known.

Read more about 'Caberfeigh' in Discover NLS issue 6.

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