Special and Named Printed Collections


This collection was bequeathed by Joseph Hancock Macadam, President of the Scottish Association of Master Bakers, and received in 1951. There are 1,619 volumes, which are mainly works on baking and confectionery published during the late 19th and the early 20th century, with many French and German publications.

Shelf: Maca.


A collection of 115 volumes relating to Leonardo da Vinci, including facsimile editions of the manuscripts, which was presented from 1938 to 1940 by Edward MacCurdy and C.A. McCurdy in memory of their father the Rev. Alexander MacCurdy (1821-91).

Shelf: MacC.


A collection of 72 printed volumes dating from 1953 to 1987, mainly published by the Edinburgh-based firm, Macdonald Publishers. The works are mostly Scottish literature and poetry of this period and reflect the close association of the founder of the firm, Callum Macdonald (1912-99), with the leading Scottish writers of the second half of the 20th century. As printer, publisher, and managing editor of the literary journal Lines Review, Macdonald was instrumental in publishing a wide range of poetry and prose in English, Scots and Gaelic. The printed volumes were received as part of the donation of the publishing archive of Callum Macdonald in 1987.

Typescript inventory of the manuscripts. Callum Macdonald: Scottish Literary Publisher [NLS exhibition catalogue], Edinburgh, 1987.

Shelf: MP.


A collection of 80, 20th-century, socialist and anti-war pamphlets presented in 1994 by Mr Alexander Wood, former leader of Edinburgh District Council. There are a number of items relating to the Spanish Civil War and the Peace Movement. The collection was largely formed by J. Macnaughton, after whom it is named.

Shelf: MNA.


A collection of early English plays and some volumes of poetry and devotional works, presented in 1912 by John Maitland Thomson (1847-1923), Advocate and Curator of the Historical Department of the Scottish Record Office (1895-1906). It consists of 101 volumes comprising 156 works; the plays are mostly 17th-century editions, but there are two 16th-century and three 18th-century editions, as well as three incunables.

Shelf: H.3.c-H.3.e.


A collection of 137 maps of Scotland, published between 1573 and 1873, named after George Keith, 10th and last Earl Marischal of Scotland, a lifelong adherent to the Stuart cause, who was one of its first custodians. Its nucleus is generally considered to be a Jacobite collection formed at the exiled Stuart court at St Germain-en-Laye. Noteworthy items include a copy of Willem Blaeu?s Scotia Regnum, based on Mercator?s map of 1595, a fine coloured copy of Nicolaes Visscher?s Exactissima Regni Scotiae Tabula (c. 1689), and Vincenzo Maria Coronelli?s Le Royaume d?Écosse divisé en Deux Parties, corrected by Jean Baptiste Nolan (Paris, 1689) and dedicated to ?le Prince de Galles, fils de Jacques II?. A later edition in the collection, dated 1708, is dedicated to ?Jacques III, roi d?Angleterre?. The history of these maps after the Earl Marischal?s death in 1778 is obscure, but in the 1870s they were part of a collection of Stuart historical records known as the Marischal Trust. They remained in France until the 1970s and were acquired by the National Library in 1978.

Shelf catalogue in the Map Library.

Shelf: Marischal.


A selection of 50 volumes purchased in 1981 from the remnant of a family archive relating to the life and work of Sir Theodore Martin (1816-1909), Edinburgh-born lawyer and man of letters, and his wife the actress Helen Faucit (1817-98). It comprises printed books (some "grangerized" with letters, photographs and engravings), scrapbooks and associated manuscript items, and playbills for Lady Martin's performances, some of which were in Scottish theatres. The collection contains copies of most of Sir Theodore's publications in book form - he was also a regular contributor to Blackwood's Magazine - and his copy of his wife's volume of essays On Some of Shakespeare's Female Characters, with inserted letters from Dickens, Browning, Ruskin, Tennyson, Bulwer Lytton and others.

The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vol. XI (unpublished) of the Library's Catalogue of Manuscripts.

Shelf: Mart.


A collection of c. 400 English-language editions and foreign translations of works by the author Lady Mary Stewart (1917-2014), who spent the majority of her life in Scotland. The languages covered include Finnish, Japanese and Russian. The collection was started in 1988, at the same time as the author donated a collection of literary papers dating from c. 1950-1987 to the Library.

Typescript inventory of the manuscripts.

Shelf: MST.


A collection of mainly philological works, in Celtic and some non-Celtic languages, purchased from the estate of Professor Angus Matheson (1912-62), first Professor of Celtic in the University of Glasgow. It was a ?working? collection, and many of the volumes are extensively annotated. The original purchase of 159 volumes was augmented in 1988 by the addition of 15 works on Highland genealogy, history and poetry from the library of Angus Matheson?s brother, William Matheson, formerly Reader in the Department of Celtic in the University of Edinburgh.

Shelf: Mat.


Presented in 1989, in accordance with his wishes, this is a selection from the personal collection of the late Maxwell A. Begg (1933-88), a former Assistant Keeper in the National Library. It consists of 345 printed items, and has three main themes: first editions (in dust-jackets) of the works of modern Scottish authors; a collection of the works of Rudyard Kipling, notable for a number of pirated American editions, some of which were not published elsewhere; and books about Caithness and books written by authors from that county. There is also some manuscript material of the 19th and the 20th century relating to the history of Caithness.

Typescript finding list of printed books and typescript inventory of the manuscripts.

Shelf: Begg.


This collection of 500 volumes dating from 1872 to 1995 was the personal library of Mick McGahey (1925-1999), from Shotts in Lanarkshire, was a member of the Communist Party. He worked for 25 years in the coal mines and was Vice President of the National Union of Mineworkers from 1972 until 1987. The collection includes works on the theorists of communism and socialism such as Marx, Engels, Plekhanov. There is also material on Russian and American history, coal mining and trade unionism.

Shelf: McGah.


Louis-Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814) was a major dramatist of the period of the French Revolution. This collection comprises 82 works by and relating to Mercier, including some important early editions, many of which are attractively bound and in good internal condition. Several items contain handsome engravings of scenes from the plays. Mercier started his literary career as a playwright and writer on the theory of drama, creating a body of work which expressed his characteristic utopian and non-conformist views. The influence of political thinkers, especially during a period of exile in Switzerland, drew him into political matters and to involvement in the Revolution. Despite imprisonment during the Terror, he managed to escape the guillotine and, following the defeat of Robespierre, returned to political activity.

A complete list of the Mercier Collection is available at http://www.nls.uk/collections/rarebooks/news/mercierlist.pdf

Shelf: Mercier.


A selection of 84 items, donated by Ruari McLean (see Ruari McLean Collection) between 1987-92, from the distinguished American printing houses of Meriden Gravure and the Stinehour Press, which merged in 1977. The collection includes a number of art gallery catalogues and fine examples of American book design and typography.

Shelf: Mer.


This deposited collection contains material published by and about the Mineworkers' Federation of Great Britain and it's successor the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) from the 1890s to the 1970s. The Mineworkers' Federation was established in 1889 and was in existence until 1944. Included are trade union reports, agendas, handbooks, directories and official reports on mine accidents. There are also some publications of the National Coal Board (NCB). Also included are periodicals such as 'Soviet News' (1958-1959), 'Social Democrat' and 'International Socialist Review'.

Shelf: In process


The Scottish Beekeepers' Association placed this collection of 250 volumes relating to all aspects of beekeeping on temporary deposit in March 2002. The Association later converted this to a long-term deposit in November 2002. It is one of the very finest collections of rare beekeeping books in the world, including items published as far back as 1525. The foundation of the collection was due to the efforts of John William Moir, C.M.G., F.R.S.G.S., F.Z.S (1851-1940). Inspired by the example of David Livingstone, Moir and his brother emigrated from Scotland in 1877 to southeast Africa where they were initially involved in the creation of alternative transport routes to help obviate the need for slave transport. It was later after settling in the Shire Highlands of present-day Malawi that John Moir began beekeeping, due to the fact that his crops required pollination. In 1890 Moir returned to Edinburgh where beekeeping became his hobby. It was in 1912 when he became one of the original members and first vice-chairman of the council of the Scottish Beekeepers' Association that he started seriously to collect bee literature. The more books he acquired, the more he actively searched for those he lacked, until by 1916 he had 167 books. In that year Moir presented his collection to the Scottish Beekeepers' Association on the understanding that he would remain Honorary Librarian and house the collection at his home. In October 1939 Moir's library, which by then numbered 1,799 books and pamphlets and 489 volumes of periodicals, was transferred into the custody of the Edinburgh Public Libraries, where, except for the Rare Book Collection, the remainder continues to be housed.

We have prepared a number of digital images from a variety of items in the collection.

A complete list of all the materials in the Moir Collection (PDF: 54 pages) is also available.

Shelf: MRB.


A collection of 161 volumes comprising mainly British and continental imprints, chiefly of the 18th and the 19th century, but including a number of earlier works, which belonged to Alexander Monro primus (1697-1767), Professor of Medicine at Edinburgh University, and his descendants. The collection was presented in 1959 by Lt Col A. G. F. Monro.

Shelf: : Monro.


A collection of 1,342 twentieth-century books, all with inscriptions by the authors, including Lawrence Durrell, Iain Banks, Gore Vidal, August Strindberg, Harold Wilson, Iain Crichton Smith, Melvyn Bragg, Edna O'Brien, Roger McGough, John Mortimer, P.D. James, Margaret Drabble, Alasdair Gray, Salmon Rushdie and Arthur Miller. The collection was assembled by Don Moody over the course of his lifetime. It consists primarily of works of popular fiction, though there are also approximately 170 volumes of poetry.

Shelf: Moody


A collection of over 200 bound volumes, 556 sheet music publications and a number of manuscript volumes, bequeathed by John Murdoch Henderson (d. 1972) and received in 1973. It consists mainly of Scottish instrumental music (of the 18th and the 19th century) for the bagpipe and fiddle, reflecting Henderson?s collecting of fiddle tunes both traditional and modern which led him to publish Flowers of Scottish Melody (1935, reprinted 1986). This work includes some of his own tunes, and The Scottish Music Maker (1957) also includes his arrangements of tunes by James Scott Skinner (1843-1927). The manuscript material contains copies of his own works, and autograph compositions of other composers, particularly from the Aberdeen area, most notably works by Skinner. The bequest included a fund from which additions to the collection have been purchased.

The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vol. XV (unpublished) of the Library?s Catalogue of Manuscripts.

Shelf: MH.


A collection of c. 150 volumes by the late Scottish author Dame Muriel Spark (1918-2006), which includes translations of her works in several languages, ranging from Hebrew to Russian, and editions in English not published in the UK. The books were donated by Dame Muriel in 1992 and additions continue to be made to the collection, which complements the Libraryýs acquisition of an extensive archive of her correspondence and papers.

Typescript inventory of the manuscripts.

Shelf: Spk.


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