The Graham Brown Research Fellowship supports a three-month period of research into any aspect of mountaineering, including history, exploration, environment and literature.
Using the manuscripts, maps, photographs and published materials in the National Library collections, the Graham Brown Research Fellow is expected to undertake research for a significant piece of publishable work. During their tenure the Fellow will be hosted at the Library alongside relevant specialist teams or individuals to facilitate knowldge exchange. They will also contribute to the Library's public events lecture programme, delivering lectures in English, Scots or Gaelic languages.
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.
2019 National Library of Scotland Graham Brown Research Fellow
Dr Simon Naylor is Senior Lecturer in Historical Geography and Head of the Human Geography Research Group at the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow.
Simon's research focuses on the histories of science, technology and exploration. He is interested in the significance of places and landscapes for the development of scientific ideas and techniques. His most recent work has examined the development of the science of meteorology in the 19th century.
His previous publications include articles in 'Notes and Records of the Royal Society', 'British Journal for the History of Science', 'Nature Geoscience' and 'Journal of Historical Geography'. He has edited and contributed numerous chapters to books. He is the author of the book 'Regionalizing Science: Placing Knowledges in Victorian England.' (Pickering & Chatto, 2010).
Simon will use the Fellowship to conduct research into the relationship between mountains, mountaineering and science in Scotland, focusing on weather study and the meteorological observatory on Ben Nevis.
2018 National Library of Scotland Graham Brown Research Fellow
Artist, photographer, curator and researcher Alex Boyd FRSA was the first National Library of Scotland Graham Brown Research Fellow.
The focus of his research at the National Library was the social, cultural and literary significance of Scotland's mountains. He prepared a personal list of 100 iconic peaks, inspired by a classic mountain text '100 mountains of Japan' by Ky'ya 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 underpinned 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.