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National Library of Scotland

Address. George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW; [Map]
legal books: Faculty of Advocates, Parliament House, Edinburgh EH1 1RF [Map]
Telephone. (0131) 623-3700; (0131) 226-5071 (Faculty of Advocates)
Fax. (0131) 623-3701
e-mail. [enquiries@nls.uk]
Internet. http://www.nls.uk/

Governing body or responsible institution. Scottish Government.
Functions. National library with legal deposit privilege.
Subjects. Materials relating to all aspects of Scottish life and letters, including their historical and continuing links with Europe. Representative selection of the scholarly publications of the world's leading countries in line with generally approved standards for national libraries.

Access. The library is for reference only. All new readers are asked to provide evidence of identity before being issued with a reader's ticket. Opening hours: George IV Bridge building reading rooms, Monday to Tuesday, Thursday to Friday 9.30 a.m. - 8.30 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m. - 8.30 p.m., Saturday 9.30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Map Library [Causewayside building, 33 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh EH9 1SL]: Monday to Friday 9.30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 9.30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Special facilities. Online catalogues, Music Collections card catalogue, microfilm and microfiche readers, stand-alone PCs for CD ROM resources, video recorder in the Media Room. On-line catalogue (printed books and manuscripts), microfiche of older catalogue, manual manuscripts catalogues and microform reader-printer available in the North Reading Room Reception. Self-service photocopying by readers is permitted for post 1900 printed material. In-house reprographic services are available for all other reprographic demands.
Printed information. Numerous information leaflets on the library's collections and services.
Travel directions. The library is situated within walking distance of the railway and bus stations. - Parking in the vicinity of the library is virtually impossible.


1.1 The National library of Scotland was established by Act of Parliament in 1925, but its roots go back into the early 1680s, when the Faculty of Advocates decided to form its own library (law-books acquired before 1925 remained with the Faculty of Advocates but may be consulted in the National Library). The library was originally envisaged as a practical book stock for lawyers, equipped 'solis Jurisconsultorum scriptis, Jurisprudentiaeque inservientibus' as George Mackenzie, the King's Advocate, put it in the inaugural address supposedly delivered in 1692 at the formal opening of the library. It then quickly developed into a more general collection, reflecting the humanist view of jurisprudence, with good holdings of works in the fields of history, classical literature, antiquities and theology. The shift from a narrower to a wider concept, which Mackenzie himself held, can be seen in the first two catalogues, the one drawn up in manuscript possibly early in 1683, and the other printed in 1692. In the former there are very few non-legal works, while in the latter, whose titlepage reads 'Catalogus librorum bibliothecae juris utriusque', the 3,000 vols listed consist of some 90 pages of legal materials and some 70 of non-legal. Latin is the most common language of these holdings. While there is a reasonable number of titles in French, German ones are not to be found. 1.1

1.2 A very large percentage - some 55 per cent - of the legal works, by such authors as Reinhard Bachow von Echt, Johann Friedrich August Beier, Christoph Besold, Christian Benedikt Carpzov and Heinrich Hahn, come from presses in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the former East and West Prussia, reflecting the influence of German-speaking writers on legal studies at that time, as later. The percentage of works from German presses is much smaller among the non-legal works, but includes such titles as Acta eruditorum, Michael Hertz's Bibliotheca germanica (Erfurt 1679), Christian Matthiae's Descriptio quatuor monarchiarum (Frankfurt 1684) and Christoph Scheibler's Opus logicum (Marburg 1634). Some 17 per cent of the holdings are of a historical nature. There are two possible explanations for such a high figure. Given the close link between law and politics in the 17th as well as in the 18th centuries, a lawyer would be expected to have an interest in the regulation of politics both at home and abroad. There is very little in the form of literature in modern languages apart from the works of Corneille and Molière, but there is some Neo-Latin verse of German origin, e.g. Germanorum poetarum deliciae (Frankfurt 1612) and Gissenae Academiae professorum poetica (Gießen 1617).

1.3 In its earliest days the library benefited from donations by advocates, two of which to be described in greater detail in the appropriate section below (2.19, 2.22). The first of these was the library collected by Lord George Douglas (1667/68?-1693?), the third and youngest son of the 1st Duke of Queensberry, during a six-year study tour on the Continent, which was presented in 1695 by his father in memory of him. The second was the personal library of James Sutherland (1638?-1719), which contained many works on botany and numismatics. This tradition established by the Advocates' Library of acquiring by one means or another private collections, either in whole or in part, has been continued by its successor.

1.4 It was a feature of the Advocates' Library from its earliest days that, although set up and financed by advocates for their own use, its holdings were made accessible to members of the public. For very many years it was an unofficial national library. The privilege of legal deposit was conferred on the library by an act of Queen Anne in 1709. The consolidation of the library's scholarly reputation in the first half of the 18th century owed much to the long, faithful service of the grammarian, Thomas Ruddiman (1674-1757), as Keeper. The steady increase in the size of the collections from legal deposit material and purchases can be gauged from the printed catalogues of 1742 and 1807.

1.5 The lack of German-language materials among the library's early acquisitions is explained by the general unfamiliarity with the language in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Thus, when David Hume as Keeper introduced in the middle of the latter century a policy of purchasing the most recent French publications on the humanities, no similar policy was thought necessary for German. It was not until the closing years of that century, when German was becoming fashionable in polite circles partly as a reaction against French political extremism, that the library began to purchase many works of scholarship and literature in German. Some idea of the works acquired at that time can be gained from an examination of certain parts of the National Library's stacks and of selected names in the Advocates' Library's catalogues of 1807 and 1871. The standard authors of the time are there, Heinrich Josef von Collin, Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, Salomon Gessner, Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger and August Gottlieb Meissner, as well as others whose reputation has lasted longer, Goethe, Klopstock, Schiller, Tieck and Wieland, along with some nice surprises, such as Paul Flemming's Teutsche Poemata (Lübeck c. 1645), and the translation by Ludwig Theobul Kosegarten of Richardson's Clarissa (Leipzig 1790-1793) and that by Johann Joachim Christoph Bode of Fielding's Tom Jones (Leipzig 1786-1788).

1.6 In the same way we can also find numerous works by the major German philosophers of that century, Wolff, Christian Garve, Johann Heinrich Lambert, Christoph Meiners, Johann Nikolaus Tetens, Johann Jacob Engel and Kant, who with the exception of the first- and last-named, are now known only to specialists. These monographic purchases were supplemented by periodicals such as Philosophisches Magazin and Philosophisches Journal einer Gesellschaft teutscher Gelehrten. These purchases included some very early publications in the emerging discipline of psychology, principally monographs by Friedrich August Carus, and the rather rare periodical, Gnothi seauton, oder Magazin zur Erfahrungseelenkunde.

1.7 Also acquired at that time were numerous works on German and European history and political economy by such authors as Johann Christoph Gatterer, Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren, August Ludwig von Schlözer, Friedrich Christoph Schlosser and Ludwig Timotheus von Spittler. A particularly important role in guiding these purchases was played by one of the advocates, William (later Sir William) Hamilton (1788-1856), who had distinguished himself as a student of Greek philosophy, particularly of Aristotle, while still an undergraduate at Oxford. While he decided to devote himself to law rather than to medicine, he continued his interest in philosophy, which he lectured on for many years at the University of Edinburgh. His keen interest in German philosophy can be gauged not only from the contents of his private library, which was bought by public subscription for the library of the University of Glasgow several years after his death (see Handbuch-entry for Glasgow University Library), but from the purchases of the works of the leaders of philosophical enquiry in Germany in the early 19th century, Fichte, Hegel, Schelling, Schlegel and Schleiermacher, for the Advocates' Library. (An examination of the shelf catalogue of Hamilton's library makes one wonder how either the Advocates' Library or Edinburgh University could have allowed this bibliographical treasure to slip out of their grasp.) Hamilton deserves some credit for his contribution to the reception of German philosophy in Britain, for which his library provides much of the evidence.

1.8 Hamilton also used his knowledge of the German book trade to secure for the Advocates' Library the only collection acquired by it in the early part of the 19th century which contains a large number of German imprints. He alerted the Faculty to the fact that a significant part of the vast library of the Regensburg senator, Georg Septimus Dieterichs (1721-1807), remained unsold in the hands of the Leipzig firm of booksellers, Gleditsch, who had been charged with disposing of it. This part of the collection, which cost the Faculty the sum of £80, consisted of some 100,000 items, a small number of which were bound as single items or as ``Konvolute', but the vast majority as unbound, folded sheets. When the entire collection was examined after its arrival in Edinburgh in 1820, there was found to be a very large number of pamphlets written by Luther and the other participants in the theological debates of the early 16th century. The recognition of the bibliographical and scholarly value of these items ensured that they were catalogued quickly.

1.9 The cataloguing of the rest of the Dieterichs Collection, although assigned to T. G. Repp, specialist of early Scandinavian imprints, in 1826, remained unfinished in 1834. Although the Advocates' Library published a catalogue of its printed books in the 1870s, the unfinished work is symptomatic of the intellectual obscurity into which that library and its successor fell for nearly a century. It was not until the 20th century that the presence of these Lutheran imprints in Edinburgh has been more widely known with the publication of M. A. Pegg's Catalogue of German Reformation pamphlets (1516-1546) in libraries of Great Britain and Ireland (1973). The bulk of the Collection being neglected, it was only in the 1960s and early 1970s that very many of the items were finally entered in the general catalogue.

1.10 The increasing interest in many aspects of 17th-century intellectual life in Germany has proved the considerable value of much of the material in this collection, as a glance at the volumes of G. Dünnhaupt's Personalbibliographien zu den Drucken des Barock can testify (see below 2.7). No doubt the numerous holdings of the minor works of numerous 18th-century writers will prove equally important, as well as many thousands of German academic dissertations from the 17th and 18th centuries (see below 2.8). The interest of the advocates in German mentioned earlier was sadly one of relatively short duration, being effectively over by the 1840s. For about a century after that date Scotland lost much of that vigorous sense of participation in a pan-European culture, which had been so clearly marked during the Scottish Enlightenment.

1.11 The tradition begun by the Advocates' Library of acquiring large private collections has been continued by the National Library of Scotland up to the present time. Since 1970 three general collections and two specialised ones have been received, of which three, the Blairs Collection, the Crawford (Lutheran) Collection and the Fort Augustus Collection, are only on long term deposit. The Crawford (Lutheran) Collection, consisting of some 1,500 pamphlets written by Luther or by his associates and emies and ranging in date from 1511 almost to the end of that century, was deposited in 1974 (see below 2.5). That same year also saw the deposit of the Blairs Collection (see below 2.4). The largest single deposit of printed books ever to come to the National Library of Scotland, the material has come from a variety of sources on the Continent and in the north of Scotland. Although it contains a good percentage of theology, mainly but not exclusively Roman Catholic, the collection is rich in history and classical literature and a number of other fields. The decade was rounded off with the acquisition of the library of the 18th-century judge and historian, Sir David Dalrymple, Lord Hailes (1726-1792), which came to the library in 1978 after being ceded to the nation in lieu of estate duty (see below 2.25 ). Over 7,000 vols strong, the library is particularly rich in legal texts, but has good holdings in history, politics, economics and theology, as one would expect to find in the personal collection of one of the leaders of the Scottish Enlightenment.

1.12 When in the next decade the Rylands Library in Manchester decided to sell many of its treasures in order to raise money, the head of the Crawford family transferred an enormous number of early printed books to the National Library of Scotland in protest. Among these was another specialised collection, consisting of almost 200 vols of the Grands et petits voyages, published at Frankfurt between 1590 and 1644 by Theodore de Bry and other members of his family (see below 2.6). The Fort Augustus Collection, which was deposited in 1991/92 by the Abbot and monks of the Benedictine abbey of Fort Augustus on the shores of Loch Ness and is unlikely to be available to readers for some little time yet, preserves the remnants of the libraries of the three Scoto-German religious houses at Erfurt, Regensburg and Würzburg (see below 2.13).

1.13 An important aspect of the library's responsibilities as the repository of the nation's intellectual record is the purchase of foreign editions either in translation or in the original language of works by Scots. In the past quarter of a century the library has been able to acquire a large number of volumes which illustrate the influence of Scottish writers on medicine, philosophy, economics, history and constitutional law - Benjamin Bell, Thomas Reid, Adam Smith, David Hume and John Millar - in the German-language areas of Europe. A particularly important place in that influence was wielded by Sir Walter Scott (Germany witnessed a Scottomania in the first half of the 19th century).

1.14 A description of the library's German holdings of early printed books would be incomplete without a mention of the complementary manuscript collections of Scots who travelled in Germany or who were closely acquainted with the intellectual developments in that country. Among the members of the Faculty of Advocates in the first part of the 19th century who have left manuscript evidence of their interest in German literature is William Elphinstone Aytoun (1813-1865), who in addition to his legal practice held the Chair of Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres at the University of Edinburgh. His papers, which include numerous translations of German poetry, the most extensive being one of Goethe's Faust, part 1, are preserved in the Blackwood Papers. Among many other Scots with a strong interest in Germany are Thomas Carlyle and John Stuart Blackie (1809-1895), a classical and Celtic scholar, several volumes of whose papers exhibit his deep knowledge of German language and literature and educational practice.

1.15 A subject which enjoyed great popularity in the 19th century was phrenology, which is represented in the papers of George Combe (1788-1858). His voluminous correspondence includes many German correspondents. A great deal of information on various aspects of life in Germany in the second half of the 18th century can be found in the papers of Sir Robert Liston (1742-1838), a sadly neglected member of the British diplomatic service, Chargé d'affaires at several courts, including Munich, Regensburg and Berlin.


Chronological outline and analysis by language

2.1 The National Library holds c. 6,000,000 printed items. Until fairly recent times the depth and diversity of the National Library's German holdings have been neither widely advertised nor appreciated (see below 5, A. J. Harper and J. M. Ritchie). No attempt has ever been made to assess the library's German, or other foreign, holdings overall by date or by language, but a rough figure for the pre-1900 German ones would be c. 150,000. Of the library's c. 600 incunabula 181 are German-printed, including a 42-line Gutenberg Bible. (Thirteen of these are only on deposit.) The 16th-century volumes number c. 6,000, the 17th c. 26,000, the 18th c. 98,000 and the 19th c. 20,000. The vast majority (c. 80 per cent) of these holdings are in Latin, but a significant proportion (c. 20 per cent) are in German.

Subject outline

Alva Collection

2.2 This collection holds almost 400 vols from the library of James Erskine of Alva, Lord Barjarg (1732-1796), a Scottish judge. Many of the books had previously belonged to his father, Charles Erskine, Lord Tinwald (1680-1763), Lord Justice Clerk, and bear his bookplate. The library mainly consists of law books of the 16th and 17th century, including 36 16th-century and 169 17th-century foreign imprints. C. 30 per cent of the pre-1700 items are from German presses. Titles to be noted are H. P. Haberkorn, Religio jureconsultorum (Leipzig 1677), R. Sixtinus, Tractatus de regalibus (Nuremberg 1716), J. Heeser, Loci communes juris practici (Darmstadt 1665), V. Forsterius, De jurisdictione Romana (Helmstedt 1610) or J. H. Mollenbecius, Thesaurus juris civilis (Lemgo 1717). There are, however, examples of classical philology as P. de La Ramée, Ciceronianus (Basel 1577), J. T. Freigius, Ciceronianus (Basel 1579) and N. Clenardus, Institutiones in Graecam linguam (Hanau 1617), and titles as H. Bocer's De bello et duello (Tübingen 1607).

Balmoral Collection

2.3 The collection, presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1957, contains 57 vols of German literature and German translations of foreign literature, published mainly between 1839 and 1860. It includes works by Lessing (Sämmtliche Schriften, Leipzig 1853-1857), Lichtenberg (Vermischte Schriften, Göttingen 1844-1847), Jean Paul (Sämtliche Werke, 32 Bde, Berlin 1840-1842) and Johann Heinrich Voß (Sämmtliche poetische Werke, Leipzig 1850). The works were possibly collected by Prince Albert; the volumes contain Queen Victoria's Balmoral bookplate.

Blairs College Library

2.4 The holdings derive from the library of St. Mary's College, Blairs, formerly a junior seminary for aspirants to the Roman Catholic priesthood, which was deposited in 1974. A considerable number came from the libraries of Scots colleges on the Continent. There are c. 13,500 pre-1801 books including 17 incunabula on a wide range of subjects, including Roman Catholic theology, patristics, history and classical literature, of which c. 10 per cent come from German presses.

Crawford (Lutheran) Collection

2.5 This collection of c. 1,500 pamphlets was formed by the Earls of Crawford and Balcarres in the 19th century and deposited on long term in 1974 after removal from the Rylands Library in Manchester by the 28th Earl of Crawford. It consists of tracts by Luther and his contemporaries (including his opponents), covering the period from 1511 to 1595, but most of them were printed between 1516 and 1550. Apart from Luther, the most prolific authors are Andreas Bodenstein and Caspar Schwenckfeld, known as the Protestant Mystic. Among this rich collection of Reformation literature, a few typical examples are worth mentioning, e.g. M. Luther, Euangelium von dem zehen Aussetzigen verteütscht vnd auszgelegt ([Augsburg] 1521), A. Bodenstein, Ob man mit heyliger schrifft erweysen müge, das Christus ...im Sacrament sey (Basel 1524), Von anbettung vnd ererbietung der tzeychen des newen Testaments (Wittenberg 1521), C. Schwenckfeld, Ein schöner Sendbrieff vom säligmachenden erkandtnus Christi (Augsburg 1558) and Teutsche Theologia. Auff Frag vnd Antwort gestellet ([Strasbourg 1590?]). The discussion about anabaptism is covered by H. Dorpius, Warhafftige historie wie das Euangelium zu Münster angefangen vnd darnach durch die Widderteuffer verstoret, widder auffgehört hat ([Wittenberg] 1536). Other examples of early Reformation literature are J. Draconites, Eyn christlicher Sendebrieff an die Miltenberger (Wittenberg 1524) or A. Corvinus, Bericht, ob man die Tauff vnd empfahunge des leibs vnd bluts Christi, allein durch den glauben, konne selig werden (Marburg 1538). The earliest ``biography' of Luther is J. Jonas, Vom christlichen abschied aus diesem tödtlichen leben Martin Lutheri bericht (Wittenberg 1546).

De Bry Collection

2.6 The collection contains almost 200 vols of various editions of the Grands et petits voyages, published with superb illustrations at Frankfurt between 1590 and 1644 by the Belgian graver Theodore de Bry and members of his family. As well as being a delight to the bibliophile, this collection of travels presents one of the most complex, if not intractable, problems for the bibliographer, given the wide variations of text and illustration.

Dieterichs Collection

2.7 This is the residue of the vast collection amassed by Georg Septimus Dieterichs of Regensburg (see above 1.8) in the latter half of the 18th century and sold by Gleditsch of Leipzig. This part of the collection, purchased by the Advocates' Library in 1820, consists of over 100,000 items, including works by Luther, Melanchthon, Bodenstein and other leaders of the Reformation in Germany, most of them original editions and printed chiefly in the early part of the 16th century, and miscellaneous literary and scholarly works, speeches and academic announcements, all principally of German origin. The works by Luther and contemporaries were recognised on their arrival in Edinburgh as valuable from both a bibliographical and, no doubt, a monetary, value and were catalogued quickly, while the cataloguing of the other material proceeded at a slower pace. Although a number of annual reports by the Keeper of the Advocates Library spoke hopefully of the entire collection being made available to readers in the near future, work on it eventually ceased and for very many years it was dumped rather ignominiously in the vicinity of an open fire, as the soot marks on many of the items can still testify. Work on the cataloguing began again in the late 1960s and early 1970s by three members of the National Library of Scotland's staff, including the present writer. All items pressmarked ``DC' are now in the general catalogue, but for the dissertations, which had been separated at some time in the 1960s, only a name-catalogue in sheaf-binders is available (see below 3.2).

2.8 The dissertations, which number c. 35,000 in total, date from the late 16th to the very early 19th century, but the bulk are from the 17th and 18th centuries. The dissertations probably rank next after those of the British Library and the Bodleian Library in number, but, unlike those other two, have never received the attention from bibliographers and students of German university education which they deserve due in large measure to their still being uncatalogued. The majority of the dissertations are from legal faculties, but theological and philosophical faculties are also strongly represented. A very large number come from universities in the eastern part of the Federal Republic (Erfurt, Frankfurt/Oder, Leipzig, Rostock, Wittenberg). Other universities to be found are Freiburg, Heidelberg, Helmstedt, Strasbourg, Tübingen and Würzburg. Like the Bodleian's collection the dissertations are not all from universities or can even properly be described as dissertations, coming as they do from a number of academic Gymnasien and Latin schools in various parts of Germany.

2.9 The value of the Dieterichs Collection as a whole is precisely the nature of much of the material which it contains, minor works of well-known literary figures, such as Johann Beer, and of others who are only now receiving wider critical attention, such as Matthias Bernegger, Augustus Buchner, Christian Gryphius, Johann Sebastian Mitternacht, Johann Ludwig Prasch and Friedrich Taubmann, as well as of scholars such as Johannes Martin Chladenius, Christoph August Heumann, Johann Stephan Pütter, Conrad Samuel Schurzfleisch and Gottlieb Samuel Treuer. Much of this material is now rather rare, because it would not have been collected by learned libraries (in the case of dissertations not even by the University library concerned) at the time and, in more recent times, because of war damage to German libraries. For this reason much of this material is potentially of value to the compilers of the Sammlung deutscher Drucke 1601-1700 and of the Sammlung deutscher Drucke 1701-1800.

2.10 The Dieterichs collection is rich in theological works, e.g. Reformation theology such as M. Luther, Von menschen lere zu meyden (Wittenberg 1522), W. F. Capito, Was man halten vnnd antwurtten soll von der spaltung zwischen Martin Luther vnnd Andrea Carolstadt [Nuremberg 1524], H. von Kettenbach, Ain nutzliche Predig zu allen Cristen [Augsburg 1522] and J. Draconites, Ain christlicher Sendbrieff an die Miltenberger [Augsburg 1524], or 17th-century works as J. B. Hebenstreit, Sylva, exstructionem templi SS. Trinitatis exhibens (Ulm 1621) or J. L. Girouë, De religionum concordia (Regensburg 1653). Law is another strong point of the collection with works dating from the 16th to the late 18th century, e.g. M. Colerus, Oratio de origine iuris Saxonici (Jena 1574), L. von Egloffstein, Tractatus de iuribus regni et imperii Romanorum ([Strasbourg] 1603), A. Rath, Tractatus de vsucapionibus et praescriptionibus (Ingolstadt 1651), W. Kahle, Dispositio juris publici (Stade 1666), J. G. Simon, Dissertatio juridica de delictis innominatis (Leipzig [1665]) or, as examples of later 18th-century German law-books, F. C. J. Fischer, Entwurf einer Geschichte des teutschen Rechts (Leipzig 1781) and P. A. von Frank, Grundbetrachtungen über Staat und Kirche (Mainz 1784).

2.11 The universality of the collection is elucidated by a number of medical books, mainly from the 18th century: e.g. J. F. Loew, Anatomia proto-medici (Prague [1684]), A. F. Hecker, Medicinae omnis aevi fata (Erfurt 1790), A. G. Kölpin, De placenta praevia in partu (Stettin 1791), J. P. Brinckmann, Anweisung für Aerzte und Wundärzte (Frankfurt 1783), C. G. Gruner, Die venerische Ansteckung (Weissenfels 1787) or G. W. Wedel, Dissertatio medica de apoplexia (Jena [1707]). A work on alchemy, Einleitung zur Alchimie (Berlin 1724), is also worth mentioning. Finally, literary works, especially from the baroque period, deserve notice, e.g. C. Gryphius, Graecarum imperium a Muhamade Secundo eversum (Breslau [1682]), J. L. Prasch, Eclogae ([Regensburg] 1671), Gründliche Anzeige von Fürtrefflichkeit und Verbesserung teutscher Poesie (Regensburg 1680) and Poematum libellus (Nuremberg 1666) or F. Taubmann, Otium semestre (Wittenberg 1610).

Dowden Collection

2.12 Brought together mainly by John Dowden (1840-1910), Bishop of Edinburgh, this collection holds over 900 vols which were deposited on long term loan in the National Library in 1954. The deposit was given by the Chapter of St. Mary's Cathedral, Episcopal, Edinburgh. The collection, which is of general ecclesiastical and theological interest, contains c. 10 per cent German imprints from the 16th to the late 19th centuries. It includes a notable collection of liturgical works. Works to be noted are Albertus Magnus, De secretis mulierum (Strasbourg [1607?]), C. Angelos, Status et ritus Ecclesiae Graecae (Frankfurt 1655), H. Bullinger, De sacro sancta coena Domini nostri Iesu Christi (Zurich 1553) and G. Kurtz, Accessus ad sacrificium altaris et recessus (Bamberg 1748).

Fort Augustus Collection

2.13 Fort Augustus Abbey is the 19th-century successor of two older German foundations, one English and the other Scottish. The first was the Benedictine Abbey of Saints Adrian and Denys at Lamspringe in Hanover, secularised in 1803, and the other, the pre-Reformation Scottish Abbey of St. James at Regensburg. The latter, known locally as the ``Schottenkloster', had been a missionary and educational centre for Scottish Roman Catholics until its dissolution in 1862. In 1878 its last surviving Scottish monk, Dom Anselm Robertson, joined the newly founded community at Fort Augustus on Loch Ness, the first post-Reformation monastery to be established in Scotland. One of the Abbey's chief claims to distinction is its library, which comprises approximately 40,000 vols, of which the historic core of older books, numbering some 7,000 vols (including 23 incunables), was transferred on long term loan to the National Library of Scotland in 1991/92. This part of the library, consisting mostly of pre-1801 Continental and British books, is of exceptional richness, reflecting its role as the inheritor of the remnants of the libraries of the three Scoto-German religious houses at Erfurt, Regensburg and Würzburg, as well as incorporating the large and extraordinary collection of a 19th-century Irish Franciscan, the Rev. Thomas Cassidy.

2.14 The core of the collection is naturally theological, being rich in patristic, devotional and liturgical works and also strong in the controversies of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation periods. Scarcely less impressive is the range of purely secular material, from the literature of the Enlightenment to 19th-century travel and exploration, frequently richly illustrated and finely bound. It is not known when cataloguing of the collection will begin. So far, only a few early items can be mentioned which illustrate the Continental tradition, e.g. St. Bonaventura, De praeparatione ad missam ([Leipzig] 1496), C. J. Solinus, Ioannis Camertis in C. Iulii Solini enarrationes (Vienna 1520), Bede, De natura rerum et temporum ratione libri duo (Basel 1529) and, as an example of Counter-Reformation literature, J. Durie, Confutatio responsionis Gulielmi Whitakeri (Ingolstadt 1585).

Graham Brown and Lloyd Collections

2.15 These form two separate but closely related collections on Alpinism and mountaineering in general. They were bequeathed by Prof. Thomas Graham Brown (1882-1965), physiologist, and by Robert Wylie Lloyd (1868-1958), a former vice-president of the Alpine Club. The first contains c. 1,300 vols, as well as periodicals, newspaper cuttings, photographs, etc., the second over 1,600 vols, of which many are 19th and early 20th-century tourist guides to Germany and Switzerland. Although the German-language content is small, it spans five centuries. Among the well over 100 German printed items from the Lloyd Collection, there are a number of 18th-century books which deal with Switzerland's topography, institutions and history.

2.16 The earliest imprints of the Lloyd collection are M. Merian, Topographia Helvetiae, Rhaetiae et Valesiae ([Frankfurt] 1642) and H. E. Escher, Beschreibung des Zürich Sees (Zürich 1692); 18th-century editions are J. G. Altmann, Etat et delices de la Suisse (Basel 1776) and J. Walcher, Nachrichten von den Eisbergen im Tyrol (Frankfurt 1773). 19th-century works are of a more practical nature as J. G. Ebel, Manual du voyageur en Suisse (Zürich 1818) or numerous early editions of Baedeker's guides, including Switzerland and the adjacent portions of Italy, Savoy and the Tyrol ([Leipzig] 1863). The holdings of the Graham Brown Collection cover similar themes as Swiss history and geology, e.g. J. Simler, De republica Helvetiorum libri duo (Zürich 1576), J. C. Steiner, Germano-Helveto-Sparta, oder Kurtz-deutliche Grund-Zeichnung dess alt-teutschen Spartier-Lands, das ist Schweitzerland (Zug 1684), C. Grosse, Geschichte der Schweiz (Halle 1791) or B. von Cotta, Geologische Briefe aus den Alpen (Leipzig 1850). The Brown Collection, however, furthermore contains some interesting historical and theological items, e.g. P. de Ribadeneyra, Vita Francisci Borgiae (Mainz 1603), J. Eck, Homiliarii Eckiani adversus sectas. Tomus tertius de sanctis ([Augsburg] 1536) or C. Hartzheim, Explicatio fabularum et superstitionum, quarum in S. Scripturis fit mentio (Cologne 1724).

Gray Collection

2.17 Most of the books are from, or associated with, the library of the Rev. John Gray (1646-1717), which was bequeathed by Gray to his native town, Haddington. There they remained until 1961, when they were deposited in the National Library, being converted to a donation in 1981. There are c. 1,500 vols (including 3 incunabula), of which the bulk is from the 16th and 17th centuries, with some later material. Continental printing is very strongly represented. German imprints form c. 10 per cent of the collection, and the subjects covered are largely theology and classical literature.

2.18 Examples of theological literature are J. Alsted, Definitiones theologicae (Hanau 1631), F. Bidembach, Promptuarii exequialis, pars prior, continens centurias III. (Frankfurt 1610) or S. Rutherford, Exercitationes apologeticae pro divina gratia (Frankfurt 1651). Classical literature is represented by Origen, Dialogus contra Marcionitas (Basel 1674), early science by D. Santbech, Problematum astronomicorum et geometricorum sectiones septem (Basel 1561) or T. Freigius, Quaestiones physicae (Basel 1579). Finally, H. Rantzau's De conservanda valetudine (Frankfurt 1573) is worth mentioning. The collection also contains noteworthy examples of German literature, including popular and folkloristic literature as Goethe's Theater (Vienna 1816), Die kleine Aehrenleserin: ein Lustspiel für Kinder in einem Aufzuge (Leipzig 1777), C. W. Spiecker, Die glücklichen Kinder (Frankfurt/Oder 1857) or C. F. Hempel, Sitten, Gebräuche, Trachten, Mundart: häusliche und landwirthschaftliche Einrichtungen der altenburgischen Bauern (Altenburg 1839).

James Sutherland Collection

2.19 These volumes were donated to the Advocates' Library by, but in fact purchased from, the botanist and numismatist, James Sutherland (1638?-1719), the first Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden, in 1710. About 40 per cent of the 300-odd titles are from German presses. The collection includes works on botany and physics, herbals, descriptions of local flora, works on gardening, and catalogues of plants. A considerable number of books dates from the 16th and 17th centuries, e.g. Paulus Amman, Character plantarum naturalis (Frankfurt 1685), Caspar Bauhin, Catalogus plantarum (Basel 1622), and 5 other works by him, Joannes Bauhin, De plantis a divis sanctisve nomen habentibus (Basel 1591), and 3 other works by him, Hieronymus Bock, De stirpium ...quae in Germania nostra nascuntur, ...Commentariorum libri tres (Strasbourg 1552), Conrad Gesner, De raris et admirandis herbis (Zürich [1555]) and Leonard Fuchs, De historia stirpium (Basel 1542).

Jolly Collection

2.20 The books belonged to Bishop Alexander Jolly (1756-1838), a conservative leader of the Scottish Episcopal Church. A large selection was deposited on long-term loan by the Theological College of the Episcopal Church of Scotland in the National Library in 1958, and converted to a gift in 1970, with the addition of the remaining books from Jolly's library. It contains almost 3,000 vols mostly on theology (including 2 incunabula), of which c. 15 per cent are German imprints, in the main from the 17th century. Typical examples of the mainly theological holdings are J. Pamelius, Liturgica Latinorum (Cologne 1571), J. Merlo, Paradisus animae christianae (Cologne 1670), J. Alting, Fundamenta punctationis linguae sanctae (Frankfurt a. M. 1717), A. Hondorff, Theatrum historicum (Frankfurt a. M. 1633) and G. Voigt, Thysiasteriologia (Hamburg 1709).

Keiller Collection

2.21 This collection was brought together by the Scottish archaeologist Alexander Keiller (1889-1955) and presented by his widow in 1966. It comprises almost 250 vols on witchcraft and demonology, mainly from the 16th and 17th centuries, of which over 10 per cent are German imprints. The earliest of these is Ulrich Molitor's De laniis et phitonicis mulieribus (Reutlingen 1489). Other noteworthy items are Friedrich von Spee's Cautio criminalis (Frankfurt 1632), Petrus Thyraeus's De variis apparitionibus, De daemonicis (both Cologne 1594) as well as his Loca infesta (Cologne 1598), Martin Anton del Rio's Disquisitionum magicarum libri sex ([Mainz] 1606) and Johann Wier's De praestigiis daemonum (Basel 1583) and De laniis liber (Basel 1582). Later secondary works of importance include Alfred Georg Ludwig Lehmann's Aberglaube und Zauberei von den Ältesten Zeiten an bis in die Gegenwart (Stuttgart 1898), Paul Maria Baumgarten's Die deutschen Hexenprozesse (Frankfurt 1883) and Johann Georg Theodor Graesse's Bibliotheca magica et pneumatica (Leipzig 1843). In view of the presence in the collection of the writings of Spee, Thyraeus and del Rio it is appropriate that Keiller should also have had Bernhard Duhr's Die Stellung der Jesuiten in den deutschen Hexenprozessen (Cologne 1900).

Lord George Douglas Collection

2.22 The library of Lord George Douglas (d. 1693), formed during a six-year study tour of the Continent, was presented to the Advocates' Library in 1695 by his father, the 1st Duke of Queensberry. It comprises 831 items. The major proportion of the collection, consisting of law books, has been retained in the Advocates' Library. About 40 per cent of the collection is from German presses, mainly of the 17th century. There are a number of 17th-century works on history, e.g. Memorabilia Europae, oder denckwürdige Sachen, welche ein Reisender in den fürnehmsten Städten Europas heutiges Tages zu observiren und in der acht zunehmen hat (Ulm 1682), M. Zeiller, Neue Beschreibung der Königreiche Schweden unnd Gothen, auch dess Gross-Fürstenthums Finland (Ulm 1647), F. Eutropius, Breviarium Romanae historiae ab urbe condita usque ad Valentinianum & Valentem augustos (Zeitz 1678) or T. Beutel, Electorale Saxonicum ... (Dresden 1683). Classical philology is represented by J. Scheffer, Lectionum academicarum liber quo continentur animadversiones in Militiadem Nepotis, Epistolas Plinii (Hamburg 1675).

Mason Collection

2.23 Formed by Professor Eudo Mason (1901-1969), sometime Professor of German in the University of Edinburgh and presented in 1969, it contains over 3,600 children's books and related material. Though the bulk of the collection is British in origin, many items are German from the 19th century.

Newbattle Collection

2.24 Bequeathed by Philip Henry Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian (1882-1940) and acquired by the National Library in 1950, this collection consists of over 5,000 vols, of which c. 10 per cent are from German presses, on European literature and history of the 16th to 18th centuries. The collection is in the care of the present Marquess, but books from it can be consulted in the National Library upon written application to the Keeper of Printed Books made well in advance of a visit. The collection contains examples of history, science (horology) or philology, such as N. Chytraeus, Variorum in Europa itinerum deliciae ([Herborn] 1606), A. Bucholzer, Index chronologicus (Frankfurt a. M. 1612), Voltaire, Histoire de Charles XII, Roi de Suede (Basel 1755), L. Hulsius, Descriptio viatorii, et compassus sive horologia solaris (Nuremberg 1597) or J. King, Der getreue englische Wegweiser (11th ed., Leipzig 1795), a popular phrasebook, and F. de Mendonça, Viridarium sacrae ac profanae eruditionis (Cologne 1633).

Newhailes Collection

2.25 The library of the Scottish judge and polymath, Sir David Dalrymple, Lord Hailes (1726-1792), contains over 7,000 vols, the majority of which are from the 16th to 18th centuries. It is particularly strong in history (c. 1,800 vols), literature (c. 2,470 vols), law, politics, economics (c. 1,100 vols) and theology (c. 760 vols). About 25 per cent of the volumes are from German presses. The following examples illustrate the range of themes, especially law: R. Bachovius Echtius, Notae et animadversiones ad disputationes Hieronymi Treutleri (Cologne 1688), J. Bodin, De magorum daemonomania libri IV. (Basel 1581), J. Calvin, Lexicon iuridicum iuris Caesarei, simul, et canonici (Hanau 1619), M. Wesenbeck, Subscriptio in causa Honoldina ad consilium seu responsum iuris a C. Herdessiano conscriptum (Nuremberg 1567) and G. A. Struve, Notae et observationes theoreticae, canonicae et practicae ad A. Matthaei tractationem de successionibus (Jena 1678).

Ossian Collection

2.26 Consisting of over 300 vols, the collection was collected by J. Norman Methven of Perth and presented by him in 1941. It includes early translations of James Macpherson's Ossianic publications into German and other languages, works occasioned by the Ossianic controversy and the wide-spread vogue of the theme in Europe and elsewhere. Editions of note are Johann Wilhelm Petersen's anonymous translation published at Tübingen in 1782 and the five-part Works issued at Frankfurt in 1783. Among the secondary works are Emilie von Berlepsch's Caledonia (Hamburg 1803-1804), which was based on her travels in Scotland in the summer of 1800.

Preshome Chapel Library

2.27 This collection, the former library of the Chapel House at Preshome, Banffshire, was deposited in 1975. The main emphasis of the collection, which comprises c. 4,700 vols, is on religious topics, but there are also works on literature, history, philosophy, economics and law. Many works were collected by Bishop James Kyle, Vicar-Apostolic of the Northern District of Scotland, 1828-1869. Like the Blairs Collection c. 10 per cent of the volumes are German imprints. Examples to be noted are Luis de Granada, Exercitia in septem meditationes matutinas, ac totidem vespertinas, distributa (Cologne 1598), St. Augustine, Libri XIII. Confessionum (Cologne 1649) or, as an example of classical literature, Xenophon's Opera (Leipzig 1811-1818).

Protestant Institute Collection

2.28 The collection holds selected works from the library of the Protestant Institute of Scotland, Edinburgh, deposited in 1963. The collection consists of almost 600 vols, of which c. 10 per cent are German imprints. Besides 18th and 19th-century editions of the Corpus iuris canonici, the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent and the works of Caesar Baronius, Roberto Bellarmino, Hieremias Drexel and Pietro Sarpi, there are editions of the anti-Roman works of the Anglican divine, Matthew Sutcliffe, including his De Pontifice Romano adversus Robertum Bellarminum (Hanau 1605). Opposed to these, if not in learning, can be mentioned Noch fünftzig Motiva, oder bewegende Ursachen warum niemand mit gutem Gewissen Lutherisch werden (Regensburg 1717). Bound with it is a similarly anonymous reply, Gründliche Abfertigung der fünfftzig zu Prag publicirten Motiven (Dresden 1717).


3.1 Modern general catalogues

The general catalogue at present consists of three sections, which themselves are independent catalogues and, with minor exceptions, do not overlap. In all of them books can be traced by their author and other contributors.

Catalogue 1: General catalogue. Books published before 1968 and received before 1974

[Card catalogue; also on microfiche. The entries are modelled on the British Museum's cataloguing rules. There is a project under way to amalgamate this and the following catalogue with the third one.]

Catalogue 2: [card catalogue; contains books published after 1967 up to 1978, and older books (published before 1968) received between 1973 and 1978]

Catalogue 3: Online catalogue (OPAC)

[to be accessed from outside via JANET; contains details of all books received since 1978, regardless of date of publication. This catalogue can be accessed by a variety of searches: author, title, subject, keyword or boolean.]

3.2 Special catalogues


Beattie, W.: First and second supplements to the handlist of incunabula in the National Library of Scotland. In: Transactions of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society 2 (1946) pp. 151-228, 331-344

Pegg, M. A.: Incunables in the National Library of Scotland. Accessions 1946-1966. In: Beiträge zur Inkunabelkunde, 3. Folge. Berlin 1968

The incunables are recorded in the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC).

16th century:

National Library of Scotland: A short-title catalogue of foreign books printed up to 1600 now in the National Library of Scotland and the Library of the Faculty of Advocates. Edinburgh 1970

Edmond, J. P.: Catalogue of a collection of fifteen hundred tracts by Martin Luther and his contemporaries. Privately printed, 1903 (Bibliotheca Lindesiana collations and notes 7)

Pegg, M. A.: A catalogue of German Reformation pamphlets (1516-1546) in libraries of Great Britain and Ireland. Baden-Baden 1973 (Bibliotheca bibliographica Aureliana 45)

Pegg, M. A.: Bibliotheca Lindesiana and other collections of German sixteenth-century pamphlets in libraries of Britain and France. Baden-Baden 1977 (Bibliotheca bibliographica Aureliana 66)

Dieterichs Collection:

The first part of the collection (shelf-mark ``DC') is fully recorded in the General Catalogue. For the second (shelf-mark ``Th', comprising the theses) a name-catalogue in sheaf-binders is available in the library. Items from the Dieterich collection in the Short-title catalogue of foreign books up to 1600 are marked ``DC and ``Th respectively.)

Bibliotheca sive catalogus librorum quibus utitur Georgius Septimus Dieterichs. 7 pts. Regensburg 1760-63

Graham Brown Collection:

Catalogue of the Graham Brown and Lloyd Collections. Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland [forthcoming]

Gray Collection:

Gray, W. Forbes: Catalogue of the library of John Gray, Haddington. Haddington 1929

James Sutherland Collection:

Kelly, W. A.: Catalogue of James Sutherland's library. In: The Bibliotheck 14 (1987) pp. 30-106

3.3 Historic catalogues

The best and fynest lawers and other raire bookes: a facsimile of the earliest list of books in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh with an introduction and modern catalogue by M. Townley. [Edinburgh]: Edinburgh Bibliographical Society in association with the National Library of Scotland 1990

Catalogus librorum bibliothecae juris utriusque ...cum historicis Graecis & Latinis, literatis & philosophis, etc. Edinburgh 1692

A catalogue of the library of the Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh. Part the first. Edinburgh 1742. - Part the second. Edinburgh 1776. (Appendix to the catalogue of the Advocates Library. Edinburgh 1787) - Part the third. Edinburgh 1807

Catalogue of the printed books in the Advocates Library. 9 vols. [Edinburgh 1867-79]

Dickson, W. K.; Barclay, J. M. G.: List of fifteenth century books in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates. In: Publications of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society 9 (1909) pp. 125-145


4.1 Archival sources

The minute books of the Faculty of Advocates: 1661-1712, ed. by J. M. Pinkerton. Edinburgh 1976

The minute book of the Faculty of Advocates: 1713-1750, ed. by J. M. Pinkerton. Edinburgh 1980

Report by the Standing Committee to the Board of Trustees and report by the Librarian (Annual report). Edinburgh 1926-

4.2 Publications

Kelly, W. A.: The National Library of Scotland. In: David Paisey (ed.): German studies: British resources. Papers presented at a colloquium at the British Library 25-27 September 1985. London 1986, pp. 180-186 (British Library occasional papers 8)

For the encouragement of learning. Scotland's national library 1689-1989, ed. by P. Cadell and A. Matheson. Edinburgh 1989


Cherry, T. A.: The library of St Mary's College, Blairs, Aberdeen. In: The Bibliotheck 12 (1984/85) pp. 61-69

Couper, W. J.: The Gray Library, Haddington. Haddington 1916

Harper, A. J.: Deutsche Drucke des 17. Jahrhunderts in Edinburgh und Glasgow. In: Wolfenbütteler Barock-Nachrichten 13, no. 1 (1986) pp. 13-17 [mentions the Dieterichs Collection, but does not do full justice to it]

Kelly, W. A.: Lord George Douglas (1667/1668?-1693?) and his library. In: The Stair Society, Miscellany 3, ed. by W. M. Gordon. Edinburgh 1992, pp. 160-172

Kelly, W. A.: Musae errantes Latinae et Germanicae. Verborgene Gedichte des Barock. Zusammengestellt von W. A. Kelly. East Linton 1995

Kelly, W. A.: National Library of Scotland. In: Guide to resources for German studies in Scottish research libraries. [Ed. by W. A. Kelly.] Edinburgh: Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries in association with Otto Harrassowitz. Wiesbaden 1995, pp. 53-68

Kelly, W. A.: The German collections in the National Library of Scotland. In: German Studies Library Group Newsletter 20 (1996) pp. 2-11 5

Kelly, W. A.: The library of Lord George Douglas (c.1667/1668?- 1693?). An early donation to the Advocates Library. Cambridge 1997 (Libri pertinentes 5)

Ludovic, Earl of Crawford and Balcarres: Grands et petits voyages of De Bry. London 1884 (Bibliotheca Lindesiana collations and notes 3)

Ritchie, J. M.: German books in Glasgow and Edinburgh, 1500-1700. In: Modern Language Review 57 (1962) pp. 523-540 [Ritchie does not mention the NLS holdings]

Rodger, A.: Scottish advocates in the nineteenth century. The German connection. In: Law quarterly review 110 (1994) pp. 563-591

See also: A directory of rare book and special collections ...2nd ed. London 1997, pp. 631-644

October 1998

William A. Kelly