The Graham Brown Research Fellowship in Mountaineering supports a three-month period of research into any aspect of mountaineering, including history, exploration, environment and literature.
Using the National Library of Scotland's archive and published collections, the Graham Brown Research Fellow is expected to undertake research for a significant piece of publishable work. During their tenure the Fellow will also contribute to the Library's public events lecture programme.
The research fellowship is generously supported by the Graham Brown Trust. It is intended for scholars who hold a doctorate or have attained equivalent experience in employment in higher education or research, e.g. holding a curatorial post in a museum or library.
2018 National Library of Scotland Graham Brown Research Fellow
Photo © Jessica Ipkendanz.
Artist, photographer, curator and researcher Alex Boyd FRSA is the first National Library of Scotland Graham Brown Research Fellow.
The focus of his research at the National Library is the social, cultural and literary significance of Scotland's mountains. He will prepare a personal list of 100 iconic peaks, inspired by a classic mountain text '100 mountains of Japan' by Kyūya Fukada.
Alex openly admits he has an obsession with mountains.
This fascination manifests itself in his extensive portfolio using historic photographic processes to create images of landscape which capture a sense of place. Alex's works are held in many collections, including the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy.
Recent publications and solo exhibitions include:
- 'St Kilda: The silent islands' (Luath Press, 2018)
- 'Hyperborea — Lands of the North' (An Lanntair, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, 2017)
- 'New landscape works' (Wild Space Gallery, John Muir Trust, Pitlochry, 2016).
The fellowship underpins Alex's forthcoming doctorate at Northumbria University in depictions of the Scottish landscape and identity, with a particular emphasis on the Highlands and Islands.
The Graham Brown Collection
Initiated in 2018, the Graham Brown Research Fellowship is named after the Edinburgh physiologist Professor Thomas Graham Brown (1882-1965).
He bequeathed a large library of mountaineering books, his personal archive and a trust fund to the National Library in 1965.
His collection covers the history of Alpine climbing and exploration from the 16th century to the 20th, and climbing, travel and exploration in other parts of the world, including the Caucasus, the Andes and the Himalayas.
Enhanced through active curated collecting at the Library, the Graham Brown Collection now has more than 40,000 items. This makes it one of the largest publicly available mountaineering collections in the world.