Bringing the John Murray Archive to the National Library of Scotland

By Caie, Graham D. | The Byron Journal, June 2006 | Go to article overview

Bringing the John Murray Archive to the National Library of Scotland


Caie, Graham D., The Byron Journal


Readers of The Byron Journal might wish to hear of the progress being made to bring the John Murray Archive (JMA) to Scotland. A substantial and very rich part of the Archive is the Byron material, and we at the National Library of Scotland (NLS) are very excited about this project. We are extremely grateful to the present John Murray and his wife who have always wanted their archive to come to NLS and who have given us a tremendous amount of help and encouragement. We are also greatly indebted to many Byron Society members for their support, especially Geoffrey Bond and Drummond Bone who are members of our Campaign Group.

A frequently asked question about this project is 'Why Scotland?'. To Byron scholars this may not be too difficult to answer, and, as a former pupil of Aberdeen Grammar School and erstwhile member of the Byron House of that school, I was brought up to claim Byron as a fellow Scot.

The National Library of Scotland

To reinforce the link between NLS and the Archive a brief overview of the Library itself might be in order. The Library of the Faculty of Advocates was established in Edinburgh in 1689 and subsequently became a legal deposit library. As such this was not only a collection of legal books, but reflected the wider cultural and intellectual interests at the time of the Scottish Enlightenment. Keepers of this library in the eighteenth century included Thomas Ruddiman and David Hume, who described the post of Keeper as 'a genteel office though of small revenue'. Advocates such as James Boswell and Walter Scott, as curators, helped to administer the collection, which Scott described as 'more than princely'. Carlyle, who was a fervent supporter of the library, said it was the greatest resource for learning in Scotland, as indeed it is today.

As the library grew the Faculty of Advocates was keen that it should be well cared for, and therefore in 1925 they gave their great collection of printed books, periodicals, manuscripts, maps and other documents, collected over four centuries, to the nation. In consequence the NLS was constituted by Act of Parliament with legal deposit privileges. It fast became one of the great research libraries of the world and we know that the JMA would enhance the prestige of the library as a resource for learning, and with our digitisation plans make it known throughout the world.

Although the NLS collections reflect every field in which Scots and Scotland feature at home and abroad, they go far beyond this. Much material deals with exploration and travel, and military, naval and diplomatic affairs conducted by Scots. The papers of statesmen, scientists, engineers, artists, merchants and novelists, many of whom left Scotland to find fame or fortune, also feature in the collection. It is frequently said that there are ten times more Scots abroad than at home, yet most still feel a strong Scottish link. It is not surprising, therefore, that after seven generations the John Murray family still recognises its Scottish ancestry.

The manuscript collection in the NLS includes among its treasures the famous Bannatyne, Auchinleck and Asloan manuscripts, the newly digitised thirteenth-century Murthly Hours and a rare Gutenburg Bible. NLS has the largest collection of Walter Scott material, including his papers, correspondence and literary manuscripts, and this collection would be greatly enhanced by the inclusion of the wealth of Scott material in the JMA. Carlyle and his circle feature strongly in NLS holdings, and if I were to mention David Hume, Adam Smith, Allan Ramsay, James Boswell, Robert Burns, James Hogg, R. L. Stevenson, J. M. Barrie, Hugh MacDiarmid, Muriel Spark, Ian Rankine and J. K. Rowling, one begins to sense the wealth of the collections.

In addition to Scott, the JMA has material of many authors who are already prominently represented in NLS holdings, and this is one of the main reasons for John Murray to offer the archives to NLS. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bringing the John Murray Archive to the National Library of Scotland
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.