Special and Named Printed Collections


A collection of 138 pamphlets and ephemeral materials produced by the Catholic priests Monsignor Denis O'Beirne Faul (1932-2006) and Father Raymond Murray in response to the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Topics covered include internment without trial, army and police harassment of civilians, ill-treatment of suspects in custody, the 1981 hunger strikes, loyalist assassinations, the use of plastic bullets and controversial shootings by the security forces.

Shelf: RM/DF


A collection of 27 volumes, mostly of Italian and French literature of the 16th century, but including one incunable, Martial?s Epigrammata (Venice, 1485), which were presented in 1964 by Professor William L. Renwick (1889-1970), Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at Edinburgh University.

Shelf: Ren.


A collection of 36 items formerly the property of Robert Grant & Son. A large part of the collection consists of special book announcements, dated between 1928 and 1937, addressed to select customers concerning the most outstanding new publications in stock. Amongst the titles concerned are the newly published Rudyard Kiplingŭs 'A book of words' (1928) and T.E. Lawrenceŭs 'The seven pillars of wisdom'(1935). There are in addition a number of general catalogues, dating from 1928 to 1949, also issued by the firm, and a brief run of their own journal, 'Fir tree', containing book reviews. Ephemera in the collection includes correspondence with Sir William Y Darling, former Provost of Edinburgh, regarding his take-over of the firm in 1941 and a lunch menu, dating 1951, described as an 'inaugural luncheon' and headed 'Robert Grant and Son Limited, The Edinburgh Bookshop'.

Shelf: HP5.203.0160


A collection of 17 items, mainly by, or relating to, James Boswell (1740-1795), which were purchased by the Library in 1934 from the library of the Rev. Robert McKinlay of Stonehouse, Lanarkshire. McKinlay was a minister in the Congregational Church at Pitsligo, then at Galston, and finally at Stonehouse from 1922-33; as well as being a scholar of NT Greek (Ph.D. Glasgow University, 1927, "Semitisms in the N.T. in the light of later popular Greek") he was also a member of Glasgow Bibliographical Society with a particular interest in the lesser-known works of James Boswell. The collection includes a volume of cuttings relating to McKinlay's bibliographical research and his correspondence with noted Boswell scholars such as Frederick Pottle.

Shelf: F.7.a.23 - F.7.b.12


The advocate Robert Park's books were acquired by the Advocates Library in 1695 following Park's murder in Glasgow in October 1694. 45 titles are listed in the Faculty Minutes of 23 November 1695. 17 of these were retained by the Advocates Library and 24 are held by the National Library of Scotland. 7 of the 45 have not been traced.

The collection consists chiefly of law books but history and religion are also represented. The books are a mix of English and Continental printing with 26 titles in Latin and 5 in French. The books have never been kept together as a collection but can be retrieved from the catalogue by performing an author search for Park, Robert. This will also retrieve a book once owned by Park and now part of Newhailes Library (Nha.L206).

Shelf: Not kept together as a collection


A miscellaneous collection of contemporary Romanian literature, was presented by the University of Bucharest in 1964, which was subsequently augmented to include literary and scientific periodicals from the University. The collection contains 310 items on literature, history, geography, linguistics, art and archaeology.

Shelf: Rom.


A collection of hardbacks in Selby Wright's own commissioned bindings, paperback monographs, magazines, newspaper supplements and ephemera. The topics included reflect the many activities and interests of Selby Wright during his career as a Church of Scotland minister, a military padre and a leader of boys' clubs in Edinburgh. The 101 volumes of commissioned bindings consist mainly of works of popular theology either written or edited by Selby Wright such as 'Asking why', 'Our club', 'Asking them questions' and a long run of 'The Scottish Forces magazine' which he edited. The remainder of the volumes in the collection contain titles collected by Selby Wright on allied topics such as forms of worship, church publications and Christian outreach. Also present are several pamphlets sharply critical of current anti-Semitism shortly before and during World War II, pamphlets recording action at several theatres of war, with the North African campaign being particularly heavily represented and newspaper supplements many of which are devoted to the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965. There are also several runs of magazines of some Edinburgh schools besides booklets issued in conjunction with the release of celebrated films of the 1960's and 1970's. Both among the paperbacks and the commissioned bindings are large runs of Scottish regimental magazines. The ephemera includes material as diverse as school concert programmes, Selby Wright's own examination script as a theology student, a Robert Louis Stevenson Club luncheon menu and numerous presscuttings.

Also available is the collection inventory

Shelf: RSW.


A collection of foreign editions of the works of Ronald W. Clark (1916-87), biographer and mountaineer, donated to the Library by his widow, Mrs Elizabeth Clark in 1988. Amongst the 18 volumes are translations in French, German, Italian, and other languages, of his biographies of 19th- and 20th-century scientists and thinkers, which include his works on Darwin, Einstein, Freud and Bertrand Russell. In 1987 the Library received the author?s papers and his extensive correspondence with scientists in the course of researching his biographies.

Typescript inventory of the manuscripts.

Shelf: Clark.


Presented in 1927 to the newly established National Library by the 5th Earl of Rosebery (1847-1929), this great collection from Barnbougle Castle can be divided into three parts: (1) A general collection of early printed books, c. 700 items, on Scottish subjects - history, topography, literature, music, military affairs and religious controversies. Items include Nemorarius Jordanus, Arithmetica (Paris, 1496), which contains the earliest known reference to a Scot engaged in the printing trade (David Lauxius, or Lowis, printer?s proof corrector); a French translation (Rouen, 1513) of the letter from James IV to Henry VIII with the declaration of war that led to the defeat at Flodden; a set of playing cards from 1691, Cards Armorial, with the arms of the Scottish nobility; Sir Walter Scott?s thesis for admission to the Faculty of Advocates (1792). (2) A collection of over 300 volumes relating to Mary, Queen of Scots, including a contemporary account by William Patten of the Duke of Somerset?s expedition into Scotland to secure a marriage between Mary and Edward VI; Ronsard?s Elegie sur le Despart de la Royne Marie (Rouen, 1561) on Mary?s return to Scotland after the death of her husband Francis I; and among a number of accounts of Mary?s execution is a French account beginning: ?Elysabet, ceste Bastarde, conceue en inceste, Royne illegitime, & vsurpatrice du Royaume d?Angleterre? (Paris?, 1588). (3) Over 2,000 single pamphlets and 120 volumes of pamphlets covering Scottish history, politics and society from 1585 to 1923. Lord Rosebery?s correspondence and papers bound in 216 volumes were presented in 1966 by Lord Primrose, later the 7th Earl of Rosebery.

Catalogue of Pamphlets in the Library at Barnbougle Castle [compiled by G.P. Johnston], (chronologically arranged with index, text in MS, with a printed title page) 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1903. The manuscripts are described and indexed in Vol. VIII of the Library?s Catalogue of Manuscripts. Catalogue of the Early and Rare Books of Scottish Interest in the Library at Barnbougle Castle [compiled by G.P. Johnston], Privately Printed, 1923. J. Scott, ?A Bibliography of Works relating to Mary Queen of Scots, 1594-1600', Papers of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society, 2 (1896), 1-96. The Rosebery Collections: an Exhibition Held in the National Library of Scotland, 26 August-30 September, 1958, Edinburgh, 1958. Eva Primrose, Countess of Rosebery, ?Barnbougle Castle. (Unfamiliar Libraries, 7)?, The Book Collector, 11 (1962), 35-44. B.P. Hillyard, ?Archibald Philip, 5th Earl of Rosebery?, in Dictionary of Literary Biography: British Book-Collectors and Bibliographers: Pre-Nineteenth-Century Bookmen (forthcoming).

Shelf: Ry.


A collection of the publications of the Roxburghe Club from 1814.

N. Barker, The Publications of the Roxburghe Club, 1814-1962: an Essay with a Bibliographical Table, Cambridge, 1964.

Shelf: Rox.


This is a selection of works printed for the use of the blind - mainly from the presses of James Gall of Edinburgh and John Alston of Glasgow - which was presented in 1989 by the Royal Blind Asylum and School, Edinburgh, and consists of 86 works, 73 in special types. The collection reflects the prominent role of institutions in Scotland in the first half of the 19th century in developing aids for educating the blind. In 1827 James Gall printed some elementary and educational works in an embossed, angular type of his own design, and in 1834 he published the Gospel of St John, the printing of which had been completed in January 1832. The Edinburgh Society of Arts had awarded in 1832 a gold medal for the best method of printing for the blind to Dr E. Fry of London, and in 1836 John Alston began to print with an embossed type based on Fry?s design. In 1837 he produced a specimen of printing which he presented to the Society of Arts (this copy is present in the collection). Alston then printed the New Testament and then the complete Bible in embossed type, along with catechisms and educational works. Examples of these works, including a number of presentation copies to the Society of Arts, are present in the collection, as are examples of other systems of embossed type, such as those used by Dr Moon of Brighton and Dr S.G. Howe of Boston. There are also a number of works of Scripture, literature, mathematics and music in the Braille alphabet, printed in Britain, Europe and America.

B.P. Hillyard, ?Books for the Blind?, Scottish Book Collector, 3 no. 10 (April-May 1993), 19-21.

Shelf: : R.Blind.S.


A collection of 226 volumes, which until 1968 were part of the Library of the Royal High School, Edinburgh. The Library purchased 94 volumes in 1968 and a further 132 were presented by Edinburgh Public Libraries in 1973. A number of the works are Greek and Latin literary texts and commentaries on them; there are also some works of general literature, history and geography, mostly published in the 17th, the 18th and the 19th century, but including one incunable and seven 16th-century books.

Shelf: R.H.S.


A miscellaneous collection of 45 items from the Royal Scottish Museum gifted to the Library in 1964. The collection contains a number of fine vellum bindings, two tortoiseshell bindings, an enamelled and a silk embroidered binding, and a copy of William Ged?s stereotyped edition of Sallust (Edinburgh, 1744). There is also an unidentified printed book of hours, with hand-coloured initials, possibly printed in Lyons c. 1490 by Simon Vostre. A small collection of manuscripts of the 16th and the 17th century, consisting of single leaves and initials, was also presented by the Museum in 1964.

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

Shelf: R.S.M.


A selection of c. 180 books, mostly 19th- and 20th-century books, formerly held in the library of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The collection was deposited in the Library in 2008.

Shelf: R.Soc.E


Part of the private library and working collection of Ruari McLean (1917-2006), CBE DSC, a former Trustee of the Library, purchased in 1994. It comprises a collection of German books notable for their design or illustration, books designed by Ruari McLean, manuscripts and printed books of Jan Tschichold (1902-74), the working notebooks of Ruari McLean, and a substantial collection of design ephemera.

Awaiting cataloguing.

Shelf: [to be assigned]


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