Special and Named Printed Collections


The collection is based on the library built up by William Robert Reid (1854-1919), an Edinburgh businessman who had acquired Lauriston Castle in 1903, and consists of approximately 11,000 items in over 3,700 volumes. Reid had been assisted in his book collecting by a family friend, John A. Fairley, author of several articles on the bibliography of chapbooks. In the course of his researches Fairley had formed a collection of chapbooks (c. 500 volumes comprising c. 5,500 items) and these were purchased by the Reid Trustees and incorporated into the bequest of Mr and Mrs Reid, received by the newly established National Library in 1926. This bequest included the Reid Fund, consisting of income from the estate of Mr and Mrs Reid, which has subsequently enabled the Library to acquire major items of national heritage. The emphasis of the books and pamphlets in the collection is on the history, literature and topography of Scotland, from the 17th to the 19th century, but with much material on Scottish religious and political controversies in the 17th century, and on the country?s economic and social development during the late 17th and the 18th century. There are strong holdings relating to the Scottish-born financier John Law (1671-1729) whose family lived at Lauriston. There is also a notable group of architectural books produced by Scots, including works by Robert and William Adam and James Gibbs, and a number of French works, including a first edition of Laclos? Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1782). Bequeathed along with the library of printed books was a collection of manuscript material, chiefly of Scottish interest, the largest part being devoted to correspondence and papers relating to the history of the family of Mackenzie of Delvine. L.C. Folios 180 and 181 contain 48 important early sheet maps, which are held in the Map Library.

Catalogue of the Lauriston Castle Chapbooks, Boston, 1964. The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vol. I of the Library?s Catalogue of Manuscripts. J.A. Fairley, ?Bibliography of the Chap-books attributed to Dougal Graham?, Records of the Glasgow Bibliographical Society, 1 (1914), 125-215. ----, ?Bibliography of Robert Fergusson?, Records of the Glasgow Bibliographical Society, 3 (1915), 115-55. ----, ?Peter Buchan, Printer and Ballad Collector, with a Bibliography?, Transactions of the Buchan Field Club, 7 (1904), 123-158. ----, ?Ancient Scottish Tales - an Unpublished Collection Made by Peter Buchan?, Transactions of the Buchan Field Club, 9 (1909), 128-94. ----, ?Chap-books and Aberdeen Chap-books?, Aberdeen Book-Lover, 2 (1916), 29-34. E.B. Lyle, ?Song Chap-books with Irish imprints in the Lauriston Castle collection, National Library of Scotland?, Irish Folk Music Studies, 2 (1975), 15-30.

Shelf: L.C.


A collection of 24 items, largely composed of 20th century journals, mainly Scottish, carrying contributions concerned with or referring to Lewis Grassic Gibbonıs works both literary and anthropological, of which the best known was the literary work, 'Sunset song', and also referring more generally to his life and origins. There is also an article by Jessie Kocmanová entirely devoted to Gibbon and his works in a Czech academic journal. The anthropologically based novel, 'Mala the magnificent', carries an introduction by Gibbon who is also the author of an article on the religion of ancient Mexico in the journal, 'Religion'. Ephemera in the collection includes a BBC documentary with a description of the village of his upbringing, Arbuthnott in Kincardineshire, blank postcards featuring figures from the ancient and prehistoric world, theatre programmes with dramatisations of 'Sunset song' and a publisher's flier for his historical novel, 'Spartacus'.

Related manuscript material is held in the Manuscripts Collections.

Shelf: HP5.203.0161


The collection of books on mountaineering, mainly relating to the Alps, bequeathed by Robert Wylie Lloyd (1886-1958), a former Vice-President of the Alpine Club, whose interests also included entomology and the collecting of objets d?art (his book-plate incorporates a beetle and a climber?s ice-axe). It contains c. 2,000 printed items, books and journals, mostly in English (but including c. 300 in French, over 100 in German, and c. 20 in Italian), while a number of the earlier works are in Latin. Books in the collection published before the middle of the 18th century deal with the history, topography and antiquities of Switzerland, while the works from the second half of the century concentrate on the natural history of the country, chiefly geology and physical geography, especially glaciers; however, the majority of the books are of the 19th and the 20th century. The contemporary narratives of the first ascents of Mont Blanc are complemented by the numerous 19th-century accounts of subsequent ascents and of climbing expeditions throughout the Alps. The collection also includes guidebooks to Switzerland, a number of fine colour plate books of the Alps, literary works, runs of Alpine journals and year-books. The 10 manuscripts include several illustrated journals of Alpine tours, as well as personal correspondence. To complement his books, Lloyd also collected Swiss prints, which he bequeathed, along with a collection of pre-1885 English watercolours, to the British Museum where they are available in the Department of Prints & Drawings.

Mountaineering: Catalogue of the Graham Brown and Lloyd Collections, Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland, 1994 (catalogue of the printed books in the two collections plus microfiche updates of the Graham Brown collection). Shelf Catalogue of the Lloyd Collection of Alpine Books, Boston, 1964. The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vol. IV of the Library?s Catalogue of Manuscripts.

Shelf: Lloyd.


The collection of books formed by Lord George Douglas, youngest son of the 1st Duke of Queensberry, who died a young man in 1693(?). It was presented to the Faculty of Advocates by his father and received by the Library in 1695. There are over 800 items (so far identified as being from the bequest) of the 16th and the 17th century, mostly continental printings. Legal works predominate (Lord George had studied law during his extended Grand Tour which lasted from April 1686 to January 1693), followed by Italian literature, and Greek and Latin literature and works on classical antiquities. The Duke had some of the bindings stamped with his own arms before presenting them. The bequest included two manuscripts, an Italian copy of Virgil of 1467 and a history of the Reformation in the Palatinate. Apparently at some date during the 18th century the Douglas books had ceased to be maintained as a separate collection, and in 1925, on the formation of the National Library, the collection was divided, with the law books being retained by the Advocates? Library and the rest by the National Library. Books from the donation are inscribed on a front fly-leaf: ?Lib: D: D: Georgij Douglas Bibliothecæ Facultatis Juridicæ Edinburgi Donat:?.

Faculty of Advocates Faculty Record 198 contains a manuscript catalogue of the donation. W.A. Kelly, ?Lord George Douglas (1667/1668?-1693?) and his Library? in The Stair Society, Miscellany three (edited by W.M. Gordon), Edinburgh, 1992, 160-172. ----, The Library of Lord George Douglas (ca. 1667/8?-1693?) : an Early Donation to the Advocates? Library, Cambridge, 1997.

Shelf: Not kept together as a collection, but 159 volumes, chiefly French and Italian books, are placed at Hall.292.


In 1853 the Advocates? Library was given a collection of 172 volumes from the library of Archibald Murray, Lord Murray (1779-1859), a Senator of the College of Justice. The books are mainly on historical, economic and literary subjects, dating from the 16th century to the first half of the 19th century and some of them were bound for Murray with his arms and crest on the spines.

Shelf: Lord Murray.


A selection of 18 items, chiefly relating to the Scout movement, which formerly belonged to Thomas Godfrey Polson Corbett, second Baron Rowallan (1895-1977), KBE KT, Chief Scout of the British Commonwealth and Empire from 1945 to 1959 and governor of Tasmania from 1959-63. The items were received in 1991 as part of a collection of manuscripts acquired by the Library. A collection of personal papers was also presented to the Library in 1976 by Baron Rowallan.

Typescript inventories of the manuscripts.

Shelf: Row.


A collection of 141 volumes purchased from £500 donated in 1925 by Sir Alexander Park-Lyle, 1st Baronet of Glendelvine (1849-1938), Chairman of the Lyle Shipping Company. It consists of works on the history and development of ships and shipping, including French and English works on shipbuilding and naval architecture, published from the 17th to the 20th century, with one 16th-century imprint. There are 40 works published before 1801, including three Wing (see p. 3) items.

Shelf: X.21.


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