Important acquisitions

List All

Rare Book Collections works to build up the national collections through purchases (through dealers or at auction) and donations. This directory gives details of 899 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 706 to 720 of 899:

Ordered by date acquired
Order by author | Order by title
TitleWild Roses
ImprintLondon: b. T. Maiden f. Ann Lemoine
Date of Publication[1806-9]
NotesHere are two finely-bound volumes of novellas and poems, most with a strong Gothic flavour. The titles give the game away ('The Tomb of Aurora', 'The Midnight Hour', 'The Mysterious Spaniard'). 'Gothic' literature in English includes some of the most important early novels, such as Matthew Lewis' 'The Monk' and Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'. Gothic writing is characterised by a fascination with the medieval period from which it takes its name, an obsessive interest in the supernatural, an exploration of the emotions tending towards the sensual, and an appreciation of wild and romantic landscapes. There were many who had concerns about the influence of Gothic writing, such as Jane Austen who parodied the conventional Gothic narrative in 'Northanger Abbey'. 'Wild Roses' feels the need to open with a declaration that the editors have sought 'to prune from them every Luxuriance which might justly offend the Breast of Morality.' The blood-soaked pages which follow explain why such a disclaimer was felt necessary. Although many of the main 'Gothic writers' were English, the genre had a major impact on Scotland (part of 'Frankenstein' is actually set in Scotland), and on Scottish writers such as Burns, Hogg and Scott. Many of Walter Scott's 'historical' novels show traces of Gothic influence, and one of the most important features of 'Wild Roses' is the fact that it includes a poem by Scott. 'The Maid of Toro', which appears at the end of 'The Captive Prince' in vol. 2, presents the despair of a medieval maiden hiding in a wood, who learns of the slaughter of her champion in battle, despite her prayers to the Virgin. It is a highly appropriate inclusion. Intriguingly, this printing of the poem was not recorded by Todd and Bowden in their Scott bibliography, which notes the first printing of the poem in 1806 (Todd 21Aa). The works collected in these volumes seem to have been printed in 1806-1809, judging by the dates on the numerous engraved plates. The title-pages are undated. The items seem to have been printed as chapbooks in blue wrappers, a fragment of which adheres to the verso of the plate illustrating 'Livonia of Venice' in vol. 2. However, they were clearly intended to be bound up as a collection, as the signatures are continuous, and the final page in each volume gives the correct number of pages in each. The whole set is in excellent condition, bound in half red roan and red grained paper, with gilt-tooled spines bearing green leather labels. Both volumes have the bookplate of the Bibliotek Tido.
ShelfmarkRB.s.2284
Reference SourcesTodd & Bowden. Todd 21Aa http://www.cf.ac.uk/encap/corvey/articles/printer/cc09_n03.html
Acquired on18/03/03
TitleQueensland Scottish Advocate
ImprintBrisbane
Date of Publication1908-1911
LanguageEnglish
Notes'The official organ of the Queensland Scottish Union', this journal does not appear in COPAC, OCLC, or the catalogues of the National Library of Australia or of Queensland State Library. It provides a fascinating insight into the Scottish community in Brisbane at the start of the twentieth century, with photographs of 'our Queensland Scottish' in full Scottish costume, articles about local and Scottish current affairs (including at least one by Lord Rosebery), Scottish history, Scots poetry and songs (again by locals as well as traditional ballads). There are also reports of the activities of Caledonian Societies and Burns Nights throughout the region, articles on Scottish history and culture, 'household hints' and recipes, and advertisements with a Scottish theme (many for Scotch whiskey). Bought from an Australian bookseller, this copy is probably the only one in Scotland, and almost certainly the only one in public hands in the UK. Nothing is known to us about the Queensland Scottish Union other than what appears in this bound volume, containing Vol. 1.1 to 3.12, and we do not know if any further issues were produced.
ShelfmarkDJ.m.2373
Reference SourcesCatalogue
Acquired on12/03/03
TitleHoly Bible.
ImprintLondon: John Field
Date of Publication1653
LanguageEnglish
NotesThis is a beautifully bound Bible in two volumes with the second volume also containing The Psalms of David in Meeter ... Allowed by the Authority of the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland. According to the British Library Catalogue 'a spurious edition, not printed by Field.' Field is designated Printer to the Parliament on the general title page and 'one of His Highness's Printers' on the New Testament title. An inscription on the flyleaf of the 2nd vol. Reads: Janet Mitchel/ hir Booke/ 1730 aged 13 the 30th/ of January. The binding is early 18th century Scottish red morocco elegantly gilt in 'herring-bone' style featuring a variety of floral emblems. The spines are tooled in gilt between raised bands with green patterned pastedowns and free flyleaves. The library has a similar, though not identical, binding. This is excellent example of an early 18th century Scottish binding.
ShelfmarkBdg.s.890(1)
Reference SourcesWing B2240
Acquired on11/03/03
AuthorVarious
TitleNew Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; A new pocket dictionary of the English and German languages; The Rubaiyat in English verse; Elegy in a country churchyard; Golden thoughts from great authors.
ImprintGlasgow: David Bryce and Sons.
Date of Publication1895-c. 1910.
LanguageEnglish
NotesThis is a selection of five books published by David Bryce and Sons around the turn of the 19th century. Bryce were well known for adopting the latest technological advances such as photo-lithography. The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ measures only 3/4" x 1/2 ' (18mms. x 15 mms.). It is bound in flexible blue leather with the title in gilt on the front cover and spine. On the verso of the half-title the following acknowledgement reads: "The publishers beg to thank the Oxford University Press for enabling them to produce in this tiny form a facsimile of their Pica 16mo New Testament, printed on the very thinnest Oxford India paper ever made." The book is encapsulated in a metal enclosure with an inset magnifying glass to help enable it to be read. The metal enclosure is very similar to the one which accompanies Bryce's miniature edition of the Koran. Shelfmark: ABS.4.203.05(4) , Voyager ID: 3478912 The New pocket dictionary of the English and German languages is dated 1896 and comprises 677 pages. It measures 1' x 3/4' (26mms. x 19mms.) and is bound in red morocco with the titles in gilt on the front cover and spine. It is encapsulated in an exquisite book-shaped silver metal box with inset magnifying glass. The box has been engraved on its upper side with images of flying swallows and plant life. The text is reproduced from the third stereotype Tauchnitz edition. Shelfmark: ABS.4.203.05(2), Voyager ID: 3478903 Bondy states (p. 106) that the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was first published by Bryce in 1904 and that it was bound in either blue or green calf. This copy is bound in red flexible leather and there is a manuscript inscription on the recto of the front free endpaper which is dated 1898. As in the description in Bondy, the upper cover and spine are richly gilt-stamped with an oriental design and all the edges are gilt. The book measures 2' x 1 1/2' (53mms. x 35mms.). Shelfmark: ABS.4.203.05(3), Voyager ID: 3478914 This edition of Gray's Elegy in a country churchyard was issued by Bryce as part of a series of individual books and sets dedicated to the English actress Miss Ellen Terry. Typical of other titles in the 'Ellen Terry' series, this book measures 2' x 1 1/2' (55mms. x 35mms.). It is bound in dark red suede leather with ruled borders and there are gilt titles on the front cover and spine. The paper edges are gilt and there are blue marbled endpapers. Shelfmark: ABS.4.203.05(1) , Voyager 3478905 The Golden thoughts from great authors measures 1' x 3/4' (27mms. x 20 mms.) and is bound in red flexible leather with the title in gilt on the front cover and spine. Shelfmark: ABS.4.203.05(5) , Voyager 3478899
ShelfmarkABS.4.203.05 (1-5) (see notes)
Reference SourcesMiniature Books / Louis W. Bondy. London Sheppard Press, 1981.
Acquired on10/03/03
AuthorBuchanan, George
TitleEuripidis poetae tragici Alcestis ... Tum ... Jepthes, Tragoedia
ImprintArgentorati Excudebat Josias Rihelius
Date of Publication1567
LanguageLatin
NotesThis item is a significant addition to the Library's holdings of Buchanan's writings. It seems to be the only copy of this edition in Scotland, although we and other libraries have various separate editions of Jephthes and Alcestis. Buchanan was a leading figure in the divine poetry movement, and this rare publication of his own biblical tragedy Jephthes side by side with his translation of a classical drama indicates the complex relationship between sacred and secular literature for Buchanan and his wider Protestant humanist circle. The editor, Joannes Sturm, talks in his preface of Buchanan's talent and his own pleasure in reading him, and hopes that his publication will spread Buchanan's fame through France and Germany. The sacred and secular theme is continued in the other two items bound with this work - the neo-classical comedy Acolastus, and the 'sacred comedy' Joseph, by the Renaissance scholars Cornelius Gnapheus and Cornelius Crocus. The three items may first have been put together by the 'M. Boereau' whose signature appears on the Buchanan and Crocus works, on which the name 'Geo. King' also appears. But in their current state they were bound together for the 18th-century English scholar-collector Michael Wodhull, whose arms are on the binding. Wodhull translated Euripides into English himself, and he may have used Buchanan's work for reference, two hundred years after it was first published.
ShelfmarkRB.2305(1)
Reference SourcesDurkan: Bibliography of George Buchanan 1994 no.61
Acquired on06/03/03
AuthorWatt, James and John Robison
TitleArticles Steam and Steam-Engines
Imprint[Edinburgh]
Date of Publication[1817-1818?]
LanguageEnglish
NotesThis is one of the most important books dealing with the ground-breaking inventions of the Scottish engineer James Watt. Watt's steam engine made the railway revolution possible, and it is remarkable that this publication seems to be very rare. The book is a separate edition of John Robison's articles on Watt's discoveries written for the Encyclopedia Britannica, printed here with extensive and critical footnotes by James Watt himself. This appears to be the only time Watt ventured into print to discuss his inventions. Eight folding plates in good condition illustrate the processes described (designed by William Creighton and engraved by Lizars of Edinburgh). This is a nice presentation copy, with an inscription to a Dr. Hope in Watt's hand: the book later passed to the Hope Trust, an Edinburgh-based society for the promotion of temperance. The trust's bookplate is inside the front board.
ShelfmarkRB.m.492
Acquired on03/03/03
AuthorBrehm, Alfred Edmund
TitleBrehms Tierleben. Allgemeine Kunde des Tierreichs
ImprintLeipzig / Wien: Bibliographisches Institut
Date of Publication1890-1893
LanguageGerman
NotesThis is the third and entirely revised edition of Alfred Brehm's famous Tierleben or 'The life of animals' of 1890-1893. One of its most attractive features is the fact that it is beautifully illustrated - there are in fact 1800 illustrations, 9 maps and 180 coloured lithographs. Alfred Edmund Brehm (1829-1884) first followed in the footsteps of his famous ornithologist father Christian Ludwig Brehm, but soon expanded his field of interest to include all classes and species of animals. After a five year exploration of Africa, Brehm studied natural sciences in Jena from 1853 to 1855. He published the first edition of his Illustrirtes Thierleben in 6 volumes between 1864 and 1869. In 1999 Brehm's Tierleben was made available on 4 CDs. It is still the standard reference work on the life of animals in German. It deals with mammals (vol. 1-3), birds (vol. 4-6), reptiles and amphibians (vol. 7), fish (vol. 8), insects (vol. 9) and articulates (vol. 10). Although this third edition was published six years after Brehm's death and incorporated new scientific evidence, the editor E. Pechuel-Loesche saw it as his duty to retain Brehm's original structure and overall conception because it had been so successful in the frst place. The NLS currently has no copies of the original German text, only a Russian translation (1896-1903) and Brehm's zoological atlas, which contains a collection of the illustrations from the Tierleben. The only other copy of the 10 volume set (wanting the index volume) is available at Edinburgh University Library, with other holdings largely concentrated in the British Library and the Wellcome Library.
ShelfmarkAB.4.203.04
Reference SourcesLeibniz-Rechenzentrum der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften: Lexica und Wissensportale Geschichte, Verlage, Texte.
Acquired on03/03/03
TitleQueen's Arctic Theatre. H.M.S. Assistance ... Commander. G.H. Richards, of the Royal Arctic Navy ... has the honour to acquaint, the nobility, and gentry, of North Cornwall that he has ... engaged a highly select, and talented, corps dramatique, and has entirely rebuilt, and re-embellished, the Queens, Arctic Theatre, and that ... will be performed ... the inimitable comedy, of The Irish tutor ?
ImprintNorthumberland Sound, 1852.
Date of Publication1852
LanguageEnglish
NotesA rare and very attractive example of on-board silk printing from the Arctic. In an attempt to maintain crew morale during the long winter freeze, many of the naval expeditions searching for Rear Admiral Sir John Franklin, staged impromptu plays and music-hall type entertainments. Printed records of these amusements are extremely scarce particularly so when printed on the more demanding silk medium.
ShelfmarkGB/C.219
Acquired on17/02/03
AuthorBlaikie, Walter Biggar
TitlePrince Charles Edward in Edinburgh 1745
Imprint[S.l. : s.n.}
Date of Publication[1901?]
LanguageEnglish
NotesThis is a bound mock-up of an unpublished book by Dr. W.B. Blaikie (1847-1928) which consists of galley proofs, without title-page or preliminaries, which have been cut into pages and mounted on the rectos of 52 leaves. Although there is no title proper, there is a printed paper label spine title which reads: Prince Charles Edward in Edinburgh 1745. The leaves have been paginated in pencil and there are also occasional penciled notes in the margins by the author. The work is bound in purple buckram with a printed paper spine label and with the wood-engraved bookplate of "Lansdale" of Philadelphia on the front pastedown. Although there is no extant imprint data it was most probably printed in Edinburgh by T. & A. Constable as Blaikie was a Chairman of that publishing house. There is an inscription in Blaikie's hand on the recto of the third leaf to fellow historian Maria Horner Lansdale (b. 1860), the author of Scotland, Historic and Romantic (1901). The inscription states that "This is a rough proof of the manuscript of a lecture given to the Philosophical Institution Edinburgh in January 1899 which I have always intended to correct (as there are several errors) amplify & partly rewrite to make a small book of but have never yet had time. I have had the uncorrected proof bound up this way for you in case it may be useful to you for your own book on Scotland." The lecture alluded to in the inscription may correspond to Blaikie's 60 page pamphlet entitled: Edinburgh at the time of the occupation of Prince Charles (Edinburgh: Constable, 1910). In addition to his association with T. & A. Constable, Blaikie was an eminent authority on the history of Jacobitism whose extensive collection of Jacobite History was bequeathed to the National Library of Scotland by his daughters in 1928.
ShelfmarkH3.203.0666
Acquired on03/02/03
TitleCatalogue of books in quires, which will be offered to a select company of booksellers, at Hunter's Tavern, Edinburgh on Tuesday, October 21. 1794.
ImprintEdinburgh, [William Creech],
Date of Publication[1794]
LanguageEnglish
NotesAn unrecorded catalogue of a book sale conducted by William Creech (1745-1815). The sale consisted of 348 lots arranged alphabetically by author or title, with each lot containing anything from a single copy for multi-volume works (e.g. Baronage of Scotland) to 50 copies (Ruddiman's Rudiments of the Latin tongue). All the books were offered unbound ('in quires'), a practice not unknown in the 18th century. The NLS also holds other catalogues of sales conducted by Creech 6.740(1) (1791) at Bdgs.89 (1793). The very large format of this catalogue is unusual and may account for its rarity. Creech was known throughout his career for his disorganized finances; and this sale was perhaps intended as a method of reducing an overlarge inventory or improving cash flow. Successful bidders were offered extended payment terms, depending on the size of purchase. He was also known as being a sociable character - the sale was preceded by 'dinner on the table at three o'clock' with the sale beginning immediately afterwards. William Creech was apprenticed to the Edinburgh booksellers Kincaid and Bell before learning more of the trade in London and on the continent. He established his own premises in the Luckenbooths in 1773 and remained in business there until his death in 1815. Creech was a member of the Town Council and served as Lord Provost from 1811-13.
ShelfmarkRB.l.133
Reference SourcesSBTI
Acquired on20/01/03
AuthorKerguelen-Tremarec, Yves Joseph de, ?d 1734-1797.
TitleRelation de deux voyages dans les Mers Australes & des Indes, faits en 1771, 1772, 1773 & 1774.
ImprintParis : Knapen & fils
Date of Publication1782
LanguageFrench
NotesThis first edition is a rarity because it was suppressed soon after publication, as noted in 1808 by Boucher de la Richarderie: 'Cette relation, qoiqu'imprimee a Paris, est devenue / rare/ la distribution / fut arretee par ordre du gouvernement; et vraisemblablement la plus grande partie des exemplaires fut saisie et sesquestree: on entrevoit les causes de cette rigueur dans l'epitre dedicatoire qui est adressee "a la patrie"' (Bibliotheque universalle des voyages VI p. 405). The book summarizes two voyages undertaken by Kerguelen-Tremarec in search of a southern continent. The first expedition comprised the "Fortune", captained by Kerguelen, and the "Gros Ventre", under the command of François-Alesno de St Allouarn. On 12 February 1772 they discovered "La France Australes" (Iles Kerguelen). A landing was made from the "Gros Ventre" and possession taken for King Louis XV of France at Anse du Gros Ventre on the 14th of February. The two vessels separated: Kerguelen returned to France and Alesno sailed eastwards to New Holland (Australia), proving that no land of any consequence existed in the southern Indian Ocean north of latitude 50 degrees S. Upon returning to France, Kerguelen claimed to have discovered an extensive southern continent suitable for colonization. Alesno died soon after reaching Ile de France (Mauritius) in September 1772. Kerguelen's story was not challenged and led the French government to send him on a second expedition in 1773. This revisited and roughly charted the west coast of Iles Kerguelen. Kerguelen failed to fulfil any of the main objectives of his mission, one of which was to establish a colony. A court martial in 1775 sentenced him to 20 years' in prison (later reduced to six) and dismissed him from the service.
ShelfmarkGB/A.3757
Reference SourcesKroepelien 641; Sabin 37618; Spence, Antarctic mescellany 650
Acquired on13/01/03
TitleCatalogue of books belonging to the library of St. Andrew's Chapel, Aberdeen.
ImprintAberdeen: printed by George Cornwall
Date of Publication1839
LanguageEnglish
NotesThis pamphlet adds significantly to the Library's holdings of works providing information about the history of libraries and collecting in Scotland. St. Andrew's Chapel in Aberdeen was built in 1816 and opened in 1817 as a meeting-place for the Episcopalian congregation. It was raised to the dignity of a Cathedral church in 1914. The chapel library was apparently formed in 1831, and according to the preface in this work, several catalogues had already been issued before 1839. It would seem that the library was well-organised (at least on paper!): the preface discusses the collection development policy and notes that the holdings of serials are particularly strong. Detailed rules and regulations are given before the catalogue itself. Naturally, the books are mainly theological, and particularly relate to the cause of the Episcopal Church. What is particularly notable is the number of early works, including several seventeenth-century Scottish books (Aldis items). There are also novels, biographies and collections of pamphlets. It would be interesting to know more about the ways in which this collection was formed (and, indeed, its eventual fate).
ShelfmarkAPS.3.203.06
Reference Sourceshttp://www.ifb.net/webit/standys.htm http://www.aberdeen.anglican.org/Cathedral.htm http://www.cathedral.aberdeen.anglican.org/
Acquired on07/01/03
AuthorStevenson, Robert Louis
TitleNew Arabian nights
ImprintLondon
Date of Publication1885
LanguageEnglish
NotesPurchased with a selection of other yellowbacks by two popular Scottish authors. Yellowbacks (less commonly called 'mustard-plaster' novels) was the name given to the form of cheap fiction developed from the late 1840s and competed with the 'penny dreadful' as an accessible source of entertaining reading. The distinctive brightly coloured covers made the books very attractive for a growing reading public encouraged by the spread of education and the expansion of the railways. Routledges in establishing their 'Railway Library' in 1849, were the first of many publishers to target a new reading public with yellowbacks. This series ran to 1,277 titles, ending in 1899. Most works of fiction in this format were stereotyped reprints of earlier cloth editions. By the end of the 19th century, sensational fiction and adventure stories in addition to more 'educational' manuals, handbooks and cheap biographies were being published in this manner. These yellowback novels of Grant and Stevenson were typical of those published at this time. Edinburgh-born, James Grant (1822-1887), a distant relation of Sir Walter Scott, was a prolific author, writing some 90 books. Many of his 56 novels deal with key characters and events in Scottish history. In 1853 he founded the National Association for the Vindication of Scottish Rights. Grant is best remembered today as an historian - his thoroughly-researched 'Old and new Edinburgh' was published in 1880.
ShelfmarkABS.2.201.009
Acquired on05/01/03
AuthorGrant, James
TitleBothwell or the days of Mary Queen of Scots
ImprintLondon
Date of Publication1870?
LanguageEnglish
NotesPurchased with a selection of other yellowbacks by two popular Scottish authors. Yellowbacks (less commonly called 'mustard-plaster' novels) was the name given to the form of cheap fiction developed from the late 1840s and competed with the 'penny dreadful' as an accessible source of entertaining reading. The distinctive brightly coloured covers made the books very attractive for a growing reading public encouraged by the spread of education and the expansion of the railways. Routledges in establishing their 'Railway Library' in 1849, were the first of many publishers to target a new reading public with yellowbacks. This series ran to 1,277 titles, ending in 1899. Most works of fiction in this format were stereotyped reprints of earlier cloth editions. By the end of the 19th century, sensational fiction and adventure stories in addition to more 'educational' manuals, handbooks and cheap biographies were being published in this manner. These yellowback novels of Grant and Stevenson were typical of those published at this time. Edinburgh-born, James Grant (1822-1887), a distant relation of Sir Walter Scott, was a prolific author, writing some 90 books. Many of his 56 novels deal with key characters and events in Scottish history. In 1853 he founded the National Association for the Vindication of Scottish Rights. Grant is best remembered today as an historian - his thoroughly-researched 'Old and new Edinburgh' was published in 1880.
ShelfmarkABS.1.201.016
Acquired on05/01/03
AuthorStevenson, Robert Louis
TitlePrince Otto
ImprintLondon
Date of Publication1888
LanguageEnglish
NotesPurchased with a selection of other yellowbacks by two popular Scottish authors. Yellowbacks (less commonly called 'mustard-plaster' novels) was the name given to the form of cheap fiction developed from the late 1840s and competed with the 'penny dreadful' as an accessible source of entertaining reading. The distinctive brightly coloured covers made the books very attractive for a growing reading public encouraged by the spread of education and the expansion of the railways. Routledges in establishing their 'Railway Library' in 1849, were the first of many publishers to target a new reading public with yellowbacks. This series ran to 1,277 titles, ending in 1899. Most works of fiction in this format were stereotyped reprints of earlier cloth editions. By the end of the 19th century, sensational fiction and adventure stories in addition to more 'educational' manuals, handbooks and cheap biographies were being published in this manner. These yellowback novels of Grant and Stevenson were typical of those published at this time. Edinburgh-born, James Grant (1822-1887), a distant relation of Sir Walter Scott, was a prolific author, writing some 90 books. Many of his 56 novels deal with key characters and events in Scottish history. In 1853 he founded the National Association for the Vindication of Scottish Rights. Grant is best remembered today as an historian - his thoroughly-researched 'Old and new Edinburgh' was published in 1880.
ShelfmarkABS.2.201.011
Acquired on05/01/03
Important Acquisitions - page no. 1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     11     12     13     14     15     16     17     18     19     20     21     22     23     24     25     26     27     28     29     30     31     32     33     34     35     36     37     38     39     40     41     42     43     44     45     46     47     48     49     50     51     52     53     54     55     56     57     58     59     60