Important acquisitions

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Rare Book Collections works to build up the national collections through purchases (through dealers or at auction) and donations. This directory gives details of 864 of the most important items we have acquired since 2000. We update it regularly as new material comes in. The description gives information about why it was chosen and what makes it particularly interesting. You can order the list by date of acquisition, author or title.

Please let us know what you think of this resource, if you have information to add about an acquisition, or if you have rare Scottish books that you would like to donate or sell. Email us at rarebooks@nls.uk

      

 

Important Acquisitions 331 to 345 of 864:

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AuthorDrummond, Robert
TitleGrammar of the Malabar Language.
ImprintBombay: Printed at the Courier Printing Office
Date of Publication1799
LanguageEnglish / Malabar
NotesRobert Drummond was born in Keltie, Fife and was awarded a degree in medicine from King's College Aberdeen. He later joined the East-India Company and was stationed in the Company's Bombay medical establishment. After securing the acquisition of the Malabar province at the peace of Seringapatam in March 1792, the directors of the East-India Company recognised the importance of acquiring proficiency in the Malabar language in order to help maintain the efficient and effective administration of that province. Drummond had already achieved a certain facility with Malabar himself and his Grammar was an attempt to produce an introductory text that would systematically aid other members of the East-India Company in mastering the language. The Right Reverend Luis, the titular Bishop of Uzula, provided Drummond with materials which were of substantial help. The Bishop was fluent in the Malabar language himself and had accumulated a substantial collection of manuscripts dealing with the language. Although his intention was that these papers would eventually assist Catholic missionaries in Malabar, he was glad to lend them to Drummond for the purposes of his Grammar. Drummond originally intended to have the work published in England. However, he was able to find a font of Malabar character types in Bombay that had been executed by a Parsee named Bheramjee Jeejebhoy. A few years earlier, Jeejebhoy had completed a set of fonts in the Gujarati language without any other help or information than what he gleaned from Chamber's Dictionary of Arts and Sciences. The Grammar is dedicated to Jonathan Duncan, the Scottish-born governor of Bombay. Drummond's preface states that due to ill health he had had to temporarily relinquish his medical duties in India and that he had employed an assistant in order to complete the work. Ill health may have been a constant in Drummond's life as he was to die ten years later in 1809 aged only 34. After 1800, the study of Indian languages may also have been Drummond's primary interest for in 1808 he was successful in publishing in Bombay his Illustrations of the Grammatical Parts of the Guzerattee, Mahratta, and English languages. Drummond's life and work is a good example of those 18th and 19th century expatriate Scotsmen who mastered foreign languages in order to help facilitate the spread of either industry or the Gospel.
ShelfmarkABS.8.203.03
Reference SourcesESTC T142761 / Officers and graduates of University and King's College Aberdeen MVD-MDCCLX / Eighteenth Century Medics (Subscriptions, Licenses, Apprenticeships)
Acquired on28/10/02
AuthorGray, John
TitleGray's annual directory and Edinburgh almanac
ImprintEdinburgh: [printed by Andrew Shortrede for] John Gray
Date of Publication1836
LanguageEnglish
NotesDirectories are a very important resource for anyone wanting to track down a particular person known to have lived in a town at a certain time. This volume consists of an almanac, with information for the year ahead such as tide times, followed by a street directory and a list of Edinburgh inhabitants in alphabetical order, with addresses. The map is unfortunately missing, but it is still easy to use this directory to find out where someone lived in 1836. Various curious advertisements follow the main text, including one for 'Improvements in hats' ('It must be obvious to every one that a hard heavy hat is not only disagreeable to the head, but that it also prevents the free egress of the heated air arising therefrom, thus keeping the head in a perpetual stew, and causing headache, loss or injury to the hair, &c.') The directory was clearly aimed at professionals and tradespeople. This particular copy is signed on the title-page by 'John Murray Jun.' and dated 1847. This is presumably John Murray III, the famous publisher.
ShelfmarkABS.3.204.017
Acquired on03/08/04
Title[Greenock Library catalogues].
Imprintvaries
Date of Publication[1808-1820]
LanguageEnglish
NotesThis bound volume containing 8 catalogues and supplements to the catalogues of the subscription library at Greenock (known today as the Watt Library) is an important addition to the Library's holdings of material relating to library history in Scotland. The catalogue comes from the family library of James Watt (1736-1819) the engineer and includes a note in Watt's hand preceding the supplement for 1815. The library was established in 1783 when a number of gentlemen organized a library 'to save themselves the expence of purchasing many books, and to avert the fatal effects which are sometimes occasioned by circulating libraries'. What these 'fatal effects' were is a moot point, but the subscription libraries, were, in contrast to the circulating libraries, organized on a not-for-profit basis. Watt, born in Greenock and educated at the Grammar School there, lived in the town until he was 18, when he left to go to Glasgow (and later London) to to become an apprentice to a mathematical instrument maker. In spite of the fact that he lived and worked in Birmingham from 1773, Watt retained his links with the west of Scotland throughout his life, with frequent holidays in Glasgow and Greenock as well as overseeing a new harbour in his home town. After he retired from his firm Boulton & Watt in 1800, he continued to demonstrate his interest in Greenock, mainly as a subscriber to the library. In 1816 he gave the library the princely sume of 100 'to fom the beginning of a scientific library, for the instruction of the youth of Greenock' . By 1818, when Watt was on the 'Committee of the Greenock Library of Arts and Sciences' there were three parts to the library - arts and sciences, foreign books (from 1807 - mainly French) and the general library. In the 1812 supplementary catalogue, there is even a list of books in the juvenile library. In addition to the subscribers, scholars in the Mathematical school and 'any other respectable inhabitant' of Greenock could have access to the books relating to the 'arts and sciences'. Catalogues also on microfilm at Mf.51(7)
ShelfmarkRB.s.2283(1-8)
Reference SourcesKaufman, P. 'The rise of community libraries in Scotland', p.254 in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America vol.59, 1965. HP1.201.1250 Kelso, William. The James Watt story. Greenock, 1997. HP2.98.585
Acquired on07/05/03
TitleGreenock news-clout, no.31
ImprintGreenock: John Lennox
Date of Publication28 September 1850
LanguageEnglish
NotesThis is the only known copy of this issue of a short-lived but remarkable Greenock newspaper, which was printed on calico - a coarse and light-weight form of cotton. The Watt Library in Greenock holds 5 other issues - all printed on the same material - dating from 1849-1850. According to the masthead this title was a successor to the 'Young Greenock',' Aurora' and 'Quilp's Budget'. These titles have not been traced. The masthead goes on to state that these titles were declared in January 1849 by the Solicitor of Stamps to be illegal. The printer/publisher John Lennox was summoned before the Court of the Exchequer, fined 100 and forced to pay the expenses of the case. Lennox had for a long time been a campaigner against this 'tax on knowledge' and it appears that he was not prosecuted for printing on calico. The printer and 'News-clout' were even mentioned in Parliament during a debate on the newspaper tax in March 1850. In order to circumvent the tax on newspapers (which saw the newspapers carry a red stamp showing the amount of tax levied), the publisher John Lennox decided to print this newspaper on calico. The contents of the paper itself are unremarkable reports of municipal election and court cases, letters on the Episcopal Church, advertisements and articles on female franchise and second sight. Lennox had been a newsagent in Dumbarton around 1822. He printed the 'Dumbarton Argus' from 1832 until 1834 and printed a number of monthly periodicals in Greenock additional to those mentioned above (The Second Precursor, Sam Slick, and The Ventilator) in the 1840s. He died in 1853 aged 59. Monthly papers were not subject to the tax, so publishers like Lennox published papers weekly, though using a different title every week to evade the tax. The tax on newspaper which had been enacted in 1712 was abolished in 1855.
ShelfmarkRB.m.519
Reference SourcesWilliam Stewart. John Lennox and the 'Greenock Newsclout' a fight against the taxes on knowledge. Glasgow, 1918 SBTI
Acquired on20/07/04
TitleGuide to Edinburgh Air Raid Shelters.
ImprintPublished by C.J. Cousland & Sons Limited. Creative Modern Printers, 30 Queen Street., Edinburgh.
Date of Publication194-?
LanguageEnglish
NotesThe front wrapper features a photograph of people emerging from a shelter on the edge of Princes Street Gardens. Other photographs feature firemen in wartime helmets, and nurses at a first aid post. There are also seven pages of maps depicting the locations of the shelters in central Edinburgh. The book begins with a foreword by John Falconis, the Chief Air Raid Warden, in which he gives advice on what to do in the event of an air raid. He presents useful information on how to deal with mustard gas liquid on the skin, and the nature of incendiary bombs. He also imparts psychological advice: 'Wars are won by successfully exploiting fear.'; 'Air raids are not planned to cause civilian casualties; they create mental apprehension, suspense and distress; they lower morale; they disorganise national work ...' The advertisements are excellent, and include: a builder offering to bring peoples air raid precautions to completion; Redpath Brown & Co. Ltd. of Edinburgh, have an illustration of people in one of their shelters; 'Saved again! Duncan's nut milk chocolate ... always keep some handy for real inward protection, proof against hunger and nerves'. Other adverts include children's games from Jenners, gas masks, and air raid protection equipment.
ShelfmarkPB1.208.91/7
Acquired on18/09/08
AuthorAeschylus
TitleHai tou Aischulou Choephoroi. Aeschyli Choephoroe. [Aeschylus: Choephori]
ImprintGlasguae: Excudebat Andreas Foulis, M.DCC.LXXVII.
Date of Publication1777 [?]
LanguageGreek and Latin
NotesOne of three additions to the Library's Foulis Press holdings. Andrew Foulis published two editions of Aeschylus' Choephorae in 1777, each with parallel texts of a Greek and Latin translation. The LIbrary already has a copy of the quarto setting of one edition (Gaskell 608, shelfmark NE.732.f.3). This is a copy of the far less common edition (Gaskell 608a, 2nd ed.), apparently unrecorded by ESTC and previously known only from a copy in private hands [which may or may not be this one]. There seems to be a bibliographical mystery about the date of this edition, according to a note by Robert Donaldson dated 1982 in the Library's marked-up copy of the 1st edition of Gaskell. He dates the paper of this edition to 1794, and says it has the same setting as the text of Choephori in the editions of Aeschylus: Tragoediae published by Foulis in 1796 and 1802 (Gaskell 702), and is therefore printed from the same standing type or stereo plates. There seems no explanation for why this text might have been issued separately with a false 1777 date, and copies of all the relevant editions would need to be collated before any conclusions could be reached. This copy is bound with the edition of Longinus: On the Sublime (Greek and Latin text) published by Foulis in 1790, in what looks like the original binding (which might confirm the later date of publication). The stamp of the Royal School Edinburgh is on the back cover. Along with this item, the Library acquired a copy of John Gay: Poems on Several Occasions (Gaskell 506). The Library has a copy of the variant described on p. 438 of Gaskell, 2nd ed (shelfmark Hall.195.b); this new acquisition accords with the description of the edition on p. 295.
ShelfmarkABS.1.204.061(2)
Reference SourcesGaskell: Foulis Press bibliography (both editions)
Acquired on04/05/04
AuthorScott, Sir Walter
TitleHalidon Hill. En dramatisk Skildring ven Sir Walter Scott, Baronet. Oversat af K. L. Rahbek
ImprintCopenhagen: Forlagt af C.A. Reitzel
Date of Publication1822
LanguageDanish
NotesThis is the first Danish translation of Scott's 'dramatic sketch' Halidon Hill, by the celebrated Danish man of letters Knud Lyne Rahbek (1760-1830). It is a rare item: no other copies are listed in COPAC or OCLC. Rahbek had published the first Danish translations from Scott in 1817, three years after the war between Britain and Denmark was concluded; this translation appeared in the same year that Halidon Hill was first published in Britain. Rahbek presented a copy of this work to Scott, which is listed in the Abbotsford Library Catalogue. Earlier the same year, he had presented a copy of a collection of Danish ballads to Scott, who replied (probably out of politeness) that he really should learn such an interesting language. In his periodical Tilsueren, Rahbek writes of this correspondence and says that he will send this translation of Halidon Hill to Scott 'as a primer of Danish'. One doubts whether Scott did indeed take advantage of this gift to improve his Danish. This copy is in the original publisher's wrapper, with an inscription in Danish on the front cover. Surviving correspondence between Rahbek and Scott can be viewed in NLS MS.3894, ff. 197-98 (Rahbek's letter to Scott) and NLS MS.85 (photostat of Scott's reply, presented by the Royal Library of Denmark which holds the original).
ShelfmarkRB.s.2707
Reference SourcesBookseller's catalogue; Millgate Union Catalogue of Walter Scott Correspondence; The Reception of Sir Walter Scott in Europe, ed. Murray Pittock (London, 2006); Letters of Sir Walter Scott, ed. H. Grierson, vol. 7.
Acquired on21/02/08
AuthorSartorious von Waltershausen, Georg Friedrich Christoph
TitleHandbok for Statshallningen efter Adam Smiths Grundsattser
ImprintStockholm
Date of Publication1800
LanguageSwedish
NotesThe first Swedish translation of Georg Sartorius's abridgement of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations for use in Universities. NLS has the German edition which was published in Berlin in 1796. Sartorius (1766-1828) was one of the first German academics to realise the significance of Smith's system, and this abridgement was clearly for use 'in academic lectures'. Prior to this publication, Smith's work had only been available in Swedish in excerpts. The text was translated from German into Swedish by Johan Holmbergsson (1764-1840). It was this translation that led to a complete assessment of Smith's work. The copy is uncut in original plain wrappers. See also Christian Garve's (1742-1798) German translation of the Wealth of Nations: we bought the second edition recently.
ShelfmarkRB.s.2055
Acquired on10/03/00
AuthorSartorius, Georg.
TitleHandbuch der Staatswirthschaft: zum Gebrauche bey akademischen Vorlesungen, nach Adam Smith's Grundsatzen.
ImprintBerlin: Bey Johann Friedrich Unger.
Date of Publication1796
LanguageGerman
NotesEarly synopsis of Smith's 'Wealth of nations' for use at universities. Sartorius, a professor at Gottingen University, was the first to introduce the teaching of Adam Smith at a German university. Here he presents his outline of Smith's work, with the addition of his own critical and practical remarks.
ShelfmarkAB.2.210.18
Acquired on01/07/10
Author[Samuel Smiles]
TitleHappy homes and the hearts that make them.
ImprintChicago: US Publishing House
Date of Publication1882
LanguageEnglish
NotesThe Scottish author Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) became famous throughout the world for his didactic biographies and his Self-help book. Happy homes was a selection of excerpts from Smiles's existing published works, with some of the other biographical sketches changed to American historical figures to suit the tastes of an American readership. This copy is an 1882 salesman's sample book for a 644-page edition published in Chicago by the U.S. Publishing House. The sample book contains approximately 56 sample pages including the frontispiece and six other engravings. At the back of this sample book there are printed testimonials from satisfied customers and examples of the marbled end papers and of the four kinds of bindings a customer could get his/her copy bound in, once the subscription was completed. Of particular interest are the 20 blank pages to record subscriptions, of which 11 pages have been filled in by hand with the subscribers' names and the kind of binding they wished to order. The salesman has also pasted a printed slip on the first page of subscribers? names with the blurb, "its inspiring pages, rich steel engravings, and substantial binding all combine to make this beautiful volume a gift that will speak long after the lips of the giver are sealed and the voice hushed", which might have influenced his sales pitch on the doorstep.
ShelfmarkAB.3.216.09
Reference SourcesBookseller's notes
Acquired on26/08/16
AuthorWilliam Morris
TitleThe well at the world's end.
ImprintHammersmith: Kelmscott Press
Date of Publication1896
LanguageEnglish
NotesWilliam Morris's fantasy novel the "Well at the World's End" was one of the last works to be printed at the Kelmscott Press in the year of Morris's death in 1896. It is thought to be one of the first examples of an entirely fictional fantasy world, and greatly influenced later fantasy writers such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. The book follows the travels of Ralph, a prince of a tiny country, as he disobeys his father's wishes and runs away from home to adventure in the world, and seek out the fabled Well at World's End, said to grant eternal youth to those who drink from it. The book was christened by Morris as 'the Interminable' as it was in production from 1892-96, longer than any other Kelmscott Press title, which was mainly due to Morris being dissatisfied with the woodcut illustrations produced by Arthur Gaskin and turning instead to his trusted collaborator Edward Burne-Jones to do the illustrations. Limited to 350 copies on paper this particular copy is in its original vellum binding and is in near mint condition. It was formerly in the Library of Appleby Castle, Westmorland (Cumbria)
ShelfmarkKP.70
Acquired on20/05/16
Author[Charles Atlas]
TitleHealth and Strength
Imprint[London:: Charles Atlas Ltd.]
Date of Publication[c. 1948]
LanguageEnglish
NotesCharles Atlas (originally named Angelo Siciliano) arrived in the USA as an immigrant from Italy in the early 1900s. He became a devoted body-builder in his youth devising a system of exercises, later referred to as dynamic tension, to build the perfect body. He developed his own muscle-building business in the 1920s, which had an extremely effective advertising campaign directed at 7-stone weaklings who had sand kicked in their faces at the beach. By the late 1930s his mail order course "Health and Strength", which covered dynamic tension and a healthy lifestyle, had become a global success. Subscribers signed to up to get a series of booklets which covered 12 lessons and a supplement on 'perpetual daily exercise'. His firm, Charles Atlas Ltd., had offices around the world, including London. This is a very well-preserved example of Atlas's mail order course which was produced, specifically for British users, in the late 1940s.
ShelfmarkPB9.208.7/1
Acquired on10/10/08
AuthorHector MacPherson
TitleHere's to the Heather. Poems and Songs.
ImprintNew York: Scottish American press
Date of Publication1896
LanguageEnglish
NotesThis volume of verse, some of which is written in Scots, was by the Scottish journalist and political campaigner Hector Carsewell MacPherson (1851?1924), best known for his books on Thomas Carlyle and Adam Smith for the 'Famous Scots' series. MacPherson was at the time editor of the Edinburgh Evening News, known for his strong stances on the importance of free speech, the independence of small nations and his pro-Liberal Party views. No copies of this work are recorded in other major libraries in the UK and there are no other publications recorded as published by the Scottish-American Press of New York.
ShelfmarkAB.2.217.26
Reference SourcesOxford Dictionary of National Biography
Acquired on10/02/17
AuthorGoldicutt, John
TitleHeriot's Hospital Edinburgh.
Imprint[London]: [John] Murray et al, printed by W. Turner
Date of Publication1826
LanguageEnglish
NotesThis is a fine and rare set of 8 lithographic plates drawn by Goldicutt and printed by C. Hullmandel. John Goldicutt (1793-1842) was a talented architect who won various prizes and exhibited at the Royal Academy. Charles Joseph Hullmandel (1789-1850) was an outstanding lithographic printer. According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, "Most of the major improvements made to lithography in Britain in the 1820s and 1830s can be attributed to Hullmandel, and in this period he was also the most prolific printer of pictorial lithographs in the country." This publication is a study of the architecture of Heriot's Hospital, Edinburgh, now George Heriot's School. The school was founded in 1628, so perhaps this was published to commemorate the 200th anniversary.
ShelfmarkRB.m.652
Reference SourcesDNB; http://www.george-heriots.com
Acquired on21/06/07
AuthorCarmichael, Henry.
TitleHints relating to emigrants and emigration; embracing observations and facts intended to display the real advantages of New South Wales, as a sphere for the successful exercise of industry.
ImprintLondon D. Walther,
Date of Publication1834.
LanguageEnglish
NotesThis is the first of three editions of an early work on emigration to Australia by Henry Carmichael (d. 1862), a schoolmaster and educational theorist, and former student of St. Andrew's University. In 1830 he was recruited in London by Scottish emigre John Dunmore Lang as a teacher for Lang's proposed Presbyterian secondary school in Sydney, the Australian College. Lang, Carmichael and three other licentiates of the Church of Scotland opened the College soon after their arrival in Australia in 1831. Carmichael, when his contract as a 'professor' at the College expired, set up his own school in Sydney, the Normal Institution (1834-38). He also founded in 1833 the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, the first of its kind in the colony, and was prominent believer in advanced educational ideas for the colony. In this work Carmichael states that "the necessity of emigration from Great Britain, under the present circumstances, seems questionless", the "present circumstances" being the increasing population of Britain and the growing misery among its working classes. He does, however, counsel would-be emigrants against "harbouring undue notions of the success and enjoyment which await them on setting foot in this territory"; he recognises that courage, perseverance and thrift are needed to flourish in Australia. This copy has the bookplate of James Edge-Partington (1854-1930) a British anthropologist and member of the Polynesian Society, who collected books on Oceania, and a blind stamp of Sir Thomas Meek Ramsay (1907-1995), a prominent Australian philanthropist and book collector.
ShelfmarkAB.1.209.048
Reference SourcesAustralian Dictionary of Biography (online edition)
Acquired on07/10/09
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