Advocates Library 'ex libris'

David Hume's handwriting

Advocates Library 'ex libris', written by David Hume.


'Ex libris Bibliotheca Facultatis Juridica Edinburghi.'

Hume wrote this mark of ownership in the library's copy of his own work, 'An enquiry concerning the principles of morals' (London, 1751).

From 1752 to 1757, the Edinburgh-born philosopher was Keeper of the Library of the Faculty of Advocates. His rather tongue-in-cheek description of the office was 'this very pinnacle of human grandeur and felicity'.

The post have him access to the library's large collections while he was researching what would go on to become his best-selling 'The history of England'. (See also Hume's 'A history of Great Britain'.)

The Advocates' Library is the predecessor of the National Library of Scotland.

This book featured in the David Hume display at the National Library of Scotland from 5 May to 28 June 2011.

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