Special and Named Printed Collections


The photographic archive of Alexander Cain (1902-81), ARPS, of Aberdeen, the collection consists of prints, glass plates, transparencies, films and 52 associated exhibition catalogues and pamphlets, depicting Scottish landscapes, Kingŭs College Chapel, Aberdeen, and Scottish antiquities. It was presented in 1982, and subsequently added to, by his son Dr A.M. Cain, a former Assistant Keeper in the National Library.

Awaiting cataloguing; there is a shelf list available for consultation.

Shelf: Cain.


A collection of fifteen volumes of early French and Venetian printing with early Scottish provenance. Purchased by the Library from Liverpool Athenaeum in 2008. Fourteen of the fifteen large folio volumes which make up the collection are texts of, or commentaries on, civil or canon law. The fifteenth is a copy of the Latin Vulgate Bible printed by Robert Estienne at Paris in 1532. Other inscriptions in twelve of the books reveal that they were taken from Edinburgh by an English nobleman, Sir William Norris (d. 1568) of Speke Hall near Liverpool, in 1544, at the start of the "Rough Wooing", a period of repeated English invasions of Scotland. Two of the law books (the texts of Roman law) do not bear the Norris inscription, but this may be because they have lost their initial leaves (perhaps in the course of repair and rebinding in the early 19th century) on which it may be expected to have appeared. Another anomaly is the appearance in the 1505 Codex Justinianus of the following inscription just after the colophon: "Est liber michaelis shefellddei". Who Michael Sheffield was is not known, but his inscription may suggest a history for this volume in some way different from that of the others, prior to their acquisition by the Athenaeum in 1825. Even so, it seems on the whole more likely than not that the two volumes that lack the Norris inscription left Edinburgh in company with the others, to spend the next two and a half centuries at Speke Hall, the home of the family of Norris of Speke. In 1736 the estate passed by marriage into the possession of the family of Beauclerk, and at some time between then and 1797, when Charles George Beauclerk sold the estate to Richard Watt, a Liverpool merchant, the books seem to have been removed from Speke Hall, eventually to pass into the hands of the Liverpool solicitor, W. Henry Brown, at the sale of whose large library in 1825 they were purchased, among other books, for the Liverpool Athenaeum Library. The 1532 Estienne Bible came into the possession of the Athenaeum in a different way, having been presented by the Marquess of Salisbury after its discovery in 1853 at the village of Childwall, four miles north of Speke, in a cottage that belonged to the Marquess. Despite this separate history, however, the Bible's earlier association with the Norris family (Sir William and his son, Edward; and (in 1695) one Doctor Norris) is attested by inscriptions. The books were traditionally supposed to have been looted from Holyrood Palace by an invading English army. However, evidence from inscriptions in the books links them not with Holyrood but with Cambuskenneth Abbey, near Stirling. The abbey also maintained a property in Edinburgh from where the books are thought to have been taken. Eight of the fifteen books can be definitely linked with Patrick Panter and Alexander Mylne, two early l6th-century abbots of Cambuskenneth, and it is likely that the other books also belonged to the abbots.

A. Cherry, "An early Scottish ex-libris: Alexander Mylne and the Cambuskenneth missal", The Bookplate Journal, n.s. vol. 3, no. 2, 2005.

Shelf: Cambusk.


A collection of approximately 5,000 volumes that originally formed part of the collections from St Benedict's Abbey, Fort Augustus, deposited in the National Library in 1992. The Cassidy books were not the property of the Trustees of St Benedict's Abbey but had been placed there for safe keeping. On the dissolution of St Benedict's Abbey the Cassidy books were transferred into the custodianship of the English Benedictine Congregation Trust and are now on deposit in the National Library as a separate collection. A selection of the other books from St Benedict's Abbey was purchased by the Library: for this, and the Abbey's history, see Fort Augustus (St Benedict's Abbey) Collection. The Cassidy Collection was brought together in the 1830s-1860s by an Irish Franciscan, the Rev. Thomas Cassidy, whose book label and/or signature serves to identify books belonging to the collection. It is said that many of these books were purchased from book stalls on the quays at Dublin. There are nine incunabula and many rare books from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Awaiting cataloguing

Shelf: Cassidy.


A selection of 1,372 volumes, this is a general collection of mainly 18th- and 19th-century works, comprising books, pamphlets, and maps from the library at Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire, presented in 1982 by Mrs Michael Smiley. Subjects covered include history, philosophy, religion, geography, travel and topography, science and medicine, children's books and school textbooks, classical and modern literature, the latter mostly English and consisting of standard works, but with a substantial run of Gaboriau's sensational novels and other popular novels published in the late 19th century.

The maps are included in the Map Library catalogue

Shelf: C.Fras.


Printed material formerly forming part of the Castle Menzies estate legal and family documents. The greater part of the collection (of 30 items) consists of public documents, both local and national, in the form of bills, petitions, acts, reports. A substantial portion relate to the construction and maintenance of roads in Perthshire and also in the north of Scotland during the early 19th century including a representation by a committee in Invernesshire for improved mail connections between Perth and Inverness. Other public documents relate to the act for the first national population census in 1801. There are other documents relating to various concerns of local administration such as police, local defence amenities and more general matters like the application of entail and the regulation of asylums. Also present are publications from bodies of inhabitants hostile to pressure for parliamentary reform. Material of quite a different and ephemeral nature in the collection includes booklets with short histories of the Menzies clan and advertising publicity for several late 19th century concerts at Scottish locations.

Related manuscript material is held by the Manuscripts Collections.

Shelf: C.Menzies


A selection of 769 volumes, which were originally part of the now dispersed library of the Cathedral of the Isles, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, and were deposited on long-term loan in 1979 by the Cumbrae Trust. The collection is strong in continental liturgical works mainly from the 17th to the 19th century, as well as works relating to the controversies in the Episcopal Church in Scotland during the 19th century.


A selection of 769 volumes, which were originally part of the now dispersed library of the Cathedral of the Isles, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, and were deposited on long-term loan in 1979 by the Cumbrae Trust. The collection is strong in continental liturgical works mainly from the 17th to the 19th century, as well as works relating to the controversies in the Episcopal Church in Scotland during the 19th century.

Shelf: CIM.


A total of 127 volumes of Chinese books printed between 1655 and 1912. Shelfmarks 6.539-6.543 (35 vols.) are accompanied by a manuscript catalogue by the Rev. John Steele, dated Dec. 1910. These include 4 items "presented to the Advocates' Library by the Rev. John Ross, D.D., 12 Marchhall Crescent, Edinburgh, thirty-nine years Missionary in Manchuria." These books have a label pasted into them reading "Advocates' Library Chinese Books No. " There follows a handwritten number 1-34. The second set is placed at shelfmarks 5.1549-5.1552, 6.549-6.551 and 6.553-6.554 (92 vols.) These do not have any labels but have slips inserted with a brief description. Judging from some binding evidence and Advocates Library ex libris, it seems that these books arrived at various points in the Library's history and were eventually placed together due to their content. The Report by the Keeper of the Advocates Library, dated 8 Feb. 1911, includes the following: "The Chinese books in the Library have been examined and catalogued by the Rev. John Steele of Swatow, China, and have now been arranged and placed together in one of the presses in Room Z." (F.R.126a) Many of the works seem to be missionary-related and it could be supposed that they were given to the Advocates by returning missionaries.

Awaiting cataloguing.

Shelf: [contained within pamphlet series 5 and 6]


On deposit: A collection of largely non-fictional secular works, both monographs and journals, published mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries, the dominant topics covered being Scottish history on a large variety of topics and Scottish culture including Highland history, family genealogies, clan histories, regimental histories, field sports, and Scottish costume. A significant percentage of the material was written by people with the name Mackay or are about the Mackays whether in their cradlelands of north and west Sutherland or elsewhere. Of special interest are two German literary works published in Germany in the early 20th century by a Scots emigr'e John Henry Mackay. There is also present a substantial amount of literary, historical, topographical material relating to the county of Sutherland and also to neighbouring Caithness. The collection also includes a small number of Gaelic literary works where the best represented are the works of the Sutherlandshire poet, Robert Mackay ('Rob Donn'). About a dozen works in the collection were published pre-1800 including two published in the 17th century. The earliest publication, 'Monro his expedition with the worthy Scots Regiment (called MacKeyes Regiment)' by Robert Monro is dated 1637. Particularly noteworthy is a significant collection, formerly in the ownership of a person with the name 'MacKay', of pamphlets and paperbacks in Polish or relating to Poland, much of which was published during or shortly after World War II and concerns in large part its repressive occupation by the Nazis and the Polish fighting effort.

Also available is the collection inventory

Shelf: CMS.


A collection of 603 items, dating from 1763 to 1993, mainly on the subject of heraldry, formerly the property of the Colin Campbell.

Related manuscript material is held by the Manuscripts Collections.

Shelf: Clan.Cam.


Part of the library of George Combe WS (1788-1858), founder of the Edinburgh Phrenological Society and author of many works propagating the influential 19th-century pseudo-science of phrenology, was bequeathed to the Faculty of Advocates and received by the Library c. 1868. The printed collection comprises over 600 items in 256 volumes, including many editions of Combe's own writings, proof copies of books and articles, reviews of his works and polemics against his views, and many works published in Europe and America on phrenology, secular education, prison reform and physiology. In 1950 Combe's papers were presented to the National Library by the Combe Trustees; these consist of his correspondence, notebooks and journals, lecture notes, financial and legal papers bound up in 315 volumes, and 16 charters. Works on phrenology continue to be added to the Library?s printed collections.

Shelf catalogue and typescript inventory. The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vol. V of the Library's Catalogue of Manuscripts. J.E. Sait, 'The Combe Collection in the National Library of Scotland', The Bibliotheck, 8 (1976), 53-54.

Shelf: Combe.


A collection of liturgies, psalters and hymnals, and works on ceremonial bequeathed by William Cowan (1852-1929), writer on Scottish liturgies and the early maps and views of Edinburgh, which was received by the Library in 1929. It contains 1,117 volumes and four manuscripts, dating from the 16th to the 20th century, and includes many early Scottish printed books. A number of books from his collection not included in the original bequest were subsequently bought for the Library.

The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vol. II of the Library's Catalogue of Manuscripts. W. Cowan, 'A Bibliography of the Book of Common Order and Psalm Book of the Church of Scotland', Publications of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society, 10 (1913), 53-100.

Shelf: Cwn.


This collection consists of c. 1170 items on theological subjects, many of which are composite volumes of pamphlets, with the emphasis on the 19th-century pamphlet wars on temperance and Lordŭs Day observance, though there are also some 17th-century volumes on the Sabbath controversy and works on dogmatic theology. It was bequeathed to the Faculty by Robert Cox WS (1810-72), one-time apprentice to George Combe, and author of Sabbath Laws and Sabbath Duties (1853) and other works.

Shelf: Cox.


The Crawford collections are the special collections of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana, the family library of the Earls of Crawford and Balcarres, assembled during the 19th century by the 25th and 26th Earls of Crawford, and deposited on long-term loan in the National Library. Two of the Crawford collections (the Reformation and Lutheran tracts and the Indulgences) have been on deposit since the mid-1970s. In 1988 the other printed collections were transferred from the John Rylands University Library in Manchester (the family archive was transferred from the John Rylands University Library at the same time) to form the 11 separate groups, which are described here. Some of the collections have been fully catalogued and can be found in the Library's Main Catalogue, the rest are partially catalogued or have collection-level records; some are listed in the short title catalogues cited below. Altogether the Crawford collections enhance the Library's holdings by c. 45,000 items.

N. Barker, Bibliotheca Lindesiana: the Lives and Collections of Alexander William, 25th Earl of Crawford and 8th Earl of Balcarres, and James Ludovic, 26th Earl of Crawford and 9th Earl of Balcarres, London, 1977. G.A. Matheson and F. Taylor, Hand-List of Personal Papers from the Muniments of the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, Manchester, 1976. Inventory of the remainder of the archive.

Shelf: Crawford.

Crawford: Borghese Collection

This collection of documents printed in the Papal States, mostly between 1550 and 1700, was formed by the Borghese family. It consists of c. 8,000 items, of which c. 6,750 are broadsides and the remainder are pamphlets. The documents include Papal bulls and briefs, as well as edicts by other officials of the Church and the States, and are concerned with the administration of Rome and the Papal States in all aspects of their religious and secular life. The broadsides are mounted and stored in boxes with the pamphlets in two separate sequences. Both are arranged in chronological order under pontificates.

The collection is fully catalogued. A.E. Harvey Wood, 'The Crawford Borghese Collection', La Bibliofila, 95 (1993), 178-80.

Shelf: Crawford.B.

Crawford: Church briefs

Over 600 broadsides published between 1755 and 1827 with two examples dating from 1690. The collection consists of royal licences issued on matters concerning the building of new churches and the repair and restoration of existing buildings and are arranged in chronological order in boxes

Pre-1801 items are in the Main Catalogue.

Shelf: Crawford.CB

Crawford: English Ballads

A collection of over 4,200 ballads (in English) dating from the 16th, to the early 20th century. The most significant acquisition made during the building up of this collection was the purchase in 1885 at the sale of the library of Osterley Park of three volumes of 17th-century ballads, consisting of 787 items, of which 90 were later donated to the British Museum. They are mounted on paper and arranged alphabetically by first line in boxes.

The collection is fully catalogued. Post-1700 items are digitised and appear in the Library's 'English ballads' digital resource. Pre-1701 items are digitally available via EBBA (English Broadside Ballad Archive). Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Catalogue of a Collection of English Ballads of the XVIIth and XVIIIth Centuries Printed for the Most Part in Black Letter, Privately Printed, 1890.

Shelf: Crawford.EB.

Crawford: English Newspapers

A collection of 2,735 newsbook issues of the Civil War period, together with a later acquisition of another 222 issues. Arrangement is chronological in boxes.

Collection-level record only in the Main Catalogue. Catalogue of English Newspapers 1641-1666, Bibliotheca Lindesiana: collations and notes, no. 5. [Aberdeen]: Privately printed [by Aberdeen University Press], 1901.

Shelf: Crawford.EN

Crawford: English Tracts

There are c. 11,700 pamphlets ranging in date from 1587 to 1912. The collection is particularly strong in the printed output of the period of the Civil War, Commonwealth and Restoration (1641-1660) with 3,300 items belonging to this period. Other topics covered include the Revolution of 1688/89, the Act of Union, the Jacobite Risings and the Anti-Slavery Movement. Many of the items deal with the religious controversies of the 17th and the 18th century, including the 'Popish controversy', Puritanism, Presbyterianism and the Quakers. The pamphlets are arranged in chronological order in boxes in three separate sequences, except for 131 pre-1641 items which have been bound individually.

The tracts dating from 1701-1800 are catalogued in the Main Catalogue. Post-1900 tracts are not catalogued.

Shelf: Crawford.ET.

Crawford: French Revolutionary (and Napoleonic) Tracts

A collection of c. 20,000 pamphlets, journals and books, including polemical and theoretical tracts, official proclamations and decrees, published in Paris and the provinces. The writings of virtually every figure important to the Revolutionary movement are present in the collection. A notable feature is the holdings of revolutionary journals and newspapers of the period, including complete sets of Marat's L'Ami du Peuple and the royalist riposte L'Ami du Roi, and complete runs of the Bulletin of the Tribunal criminel and of its successor the Tribunal revolutionnaire. Also present are Robespierre's personal copies of all issues of his Le Defenseur de la Constitution (1 June-10 August 1792), and Lettres a ses Commettans (August 1792-15 March 1793), as well as a complete set of Desmoulins' Le Vieux Cordelier. The collection also contains a large amount of Napoleonic material and some items relating to the 1871 Paris Commune.

Around 20 per cent of the collection has been catalogued.

Shelf: Crawford.FR

Crawford: Indulgences

A collection of 69 documents of the 15th, the 16th and the 17th century, mostly Indulgences printed between 1497 and 1517, but including four Imperial decrees and a small number of almanacs and calendars.

The collection is fully catalogued.

Shelf: Crawford.I.

Crawford: Miscellaneous Broadsides

There are c. 2,200 items dating from 1505 to 1897. The arrangement is mainly chronological in 22 boxes and each item is numbered. The subject matter is extremely varied and includes official proclamations and ordinances, declarations, speeches and addresses, lampoons and satires, dealing with political and religious controversies, plots and conspiracies, the Jacobite Risings and their aftermath, trade and commerce, and reports on foreign affairs and campaigns abroad. One of the largest groups is concerned with the threatened invasion of England by Napoleon in 1803. The earliest item in the collection is an imperfect copy of an Indulgence printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1505. The earliest Scottish broadside is Iniunctions Set Down by the L. Provest Bailzies and Counsel of Edinburgh to be Observed by the Stablers (Edinburgh: J. Wreittoun, 1634).

Pre-1801 items are catalogued. 1,814 broadsides are recorded in Bibliotheca Lindesiana: Catalogue of English Broadsides 1505-1897, Privately Printed, 1898. The numbers in the catalogue correspond to the numbers on the documents. A few of the items in the 1898 catalogue are not in the deposit collection, please check in advance for availability.

Shelf: Crawford.MB.

Crawford: Reformation and Lutheran Tracts

A collection of 1,500 pamphlet tracts, in Latin or German, written by Luther and the other German reformers, and their opponents. Published between 1511 and 1598, the majority of the tracts were actually printed between 1516 and 1550. Apart from Luther, the authors Andreas Bodenstein and Caspar Schwenckfeld, a Silesian nobleman, known as the Protestant Mystic are well represented. A large part of the collection comprises pamphlets of no more than four leaves, and a feature of this cheaply produced polemical literature is the use of illustrative woodcuts and ornamental borders on the title-pages. Some of the tracts by Luther contain a portrait of the reformer, a notable example being Luther?s Ain Sermo[n] von dem vnrechten Mammon, printed at Augsburg in 1522, which has a woodcut portrait of the author signed by Lucas Cranach. The collection is arranged chronologically in one sequence and each item is numbered.

J.P. Edmond, Bibliotheca Lindesiana Collations and Notes No.7: Catalogue of a Collection of Fifteen Hundred Tracts by Martin Luther and his Contemporaries, Privately Printed, 1903. The catalogue is arranged chronologically and the numbers of the entries correspond to the numbers in the pamphlets. M.A. Pegg, Bibliotheca Lindesiana and Other Collections of German Sixteenth-Century Pamphlets in Libraries of Britain and France, Baden-Baden, 1977.

Shelf: Crawford.R.

Crawford: Royal Proclamations

A collection of English, Scottish and Irish proclamations, comprising c. 2,450 documents dated between 1603 and 1714, and c. 400 between 1714 and 1910. There are eight items dated before 1603 and 131 facsimiles of documents from this period. The proclamations are arranged chronologically in boxes.

The documents up to and including the reign of Queen Anne are recorded in Bibliotheca Lindesiana Vols. 5-6: A Bibliography of Royal Proclamations of the Tudor and Stuart Sovereigns 1485-1714 by Robert Steele, Oxford, 1910. The catalogue is chronologically arranged, with indexes (Vol. 5 covers England and Wales, Vol. 6 Scotland and Ireland). The documents for the reigns of George I to Edward VII are recorded in Bibliotheca Lindesiana Vol 8: Handlist of Proclamations 1714-1910, Wigan, 1913.

Shelf: Crawford.RP.

Crawford: The Grands et Petits Voyages of Theodore de Bry

A set of 193 volumes, comprising the German and Latin editions of the Grands et Petits Voyages, published with extensive illustrations at Frankfurt am Main, between 1590 and 1644, by the Belgian engraver Theodore de Bry and successive members of his family. The collection also includes the sole French-language edition of 1590 and related 17th-century works by other authors/editors.

Not individually catalogued. The volumes are listed in: Ludovic, Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, Bibliotheca Lindesiana Collations and Notes No.3: Grands et Petits Voyages of De Bry, London, 1884.

Shelf: Crawford.DB.


A collection of 62 books and six microfilms of early editions of the letters of Madame de Sévigné (1626-96), and of the works of her cousin Bussy-Rabutin (1618-93), with other related material. The collection was presented in 1981 by Dr H.R. Creswick, Bodley?s Librarian 1945-47, and Librarian of the University of Cambridge 1949-67.

Shelf: Cres.


A selection of six items on naval history and practice from the collection of Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham (1852-1936), traveller, author and politician. There are 3 Wing (see p. 3) items, including The Declaration and Proposals of the Estates of Scotland ... to Rescue His Majesty from his Base Imprisonment ([London], 1648). The books were presented in 1961 by his nephew and heir, Admiral Sir Angus Cunninghame Graham, along with a collection of family correspondence; subsequent manuscript donations followed in 1976 and 1978.

The manuscripts donated in 1961 and 1976 are described and indexed in Vol. VIII of the Library?s Catalogue of Manuscripts; for subsequent donations a typescript inventory is available.

Shelf: C.Graham.


This is a collection of over 300 books, pamphlets and periodicals by Scottish magicians or about magic as practised in Scotland. It was assembled over the course of a lifetime by Jim Cuthbert, a practising magician, member of the Paisley Magic Circle and former President of the Scottish Association of Magic Societies. Most of the items in the collection were published after 1900, though there are some books on conjuring from the 1830s and 1840s published in Glasgow. Other subjects covered include card and rope tricks, wizardry, sorcery and spin-offs from magic shows on television.

J. Cuthbert. What has Scotland ever done for magic? A book list of Scottish magic publications. [Paisley, 2007?]

Shelf: Cuth.


Introduction  |  Search  |  List of Collections