News round-up: April – May 2018

pi f58 Lon_f19_detail
Image from ‘Botanicon. plantarum historiae’; Lonicerus, Adamus (Frankfurt, 1565) pi f58 Lon

20th April 2018: Scottish Maps Forum Seminar: Constructing the paper landscape


Paul Logie, Archives Assistant, attended the Scottish Maps Forum Seminar hosted by the National Library of Scotland at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow. The Scottish Maps Forum was established by the National Library in January 2002 to develop interest in early maps of Scotland generated by Project Pont. The seminar highlighted some of the most recent research on historical maps of Scotland with talks about Scottish canal plans held at the National Records of Scotland, the role of the Commissioners of Supply in mapping Scottish Counties towards the end of the 18th century, mapping river boundaries over time and the work of north-east surveyors. This interesting talk by Douglas Lockhart highlighted examples from a recently catalogued collection of maps, the MacDonald collection, and looked at the lives of George Campbell-Smith, Alexander Ogg and Robert Ray, all of whom emigrated towards the end of their careers to the Antipodes following work mapping the north-east of Scotland.

The image above is from MS 3860/32201: Plan Of The Estates Of Mayen And Tillydown, Lying In The Parishes Of Rothiemay And Marnoch. Published in 1842, George Campbell-Smith was the surveyor responsible for this work along with John Henderson, lithographer and engraver.

Further information about the MacDonald collection can be found here. The NLS website is also an excellent source of information about historical maps of Scotland:

30th April 2018 – Visit by students from St Andrew’s University

Andrew MacGregor, University Archivist, hosted a group of students from the University of St Andrews MLitt course in Medieval Palaeography, who visited Special Collections to see some of our wonderful examples of medieval manuscripts. This included MS 109 Lectures on Aristotle, 1467; MS 21 Higden’s Polychronicon, 1387; MS 134 The Myrroure of oure Lady, late 15th century; MS 123 Miscellany, c 1440; MS 154 Sermons, 14th century; MS 164 De Cosmographia, 15th century; MS 240 Legenda Aurea, 14th century; MS 255 Medical textbook, 1462; MS 258 Medical prescriptions, 15th century; MS 271 Psalter and Book of Hours, 15th century; MS 274 Liturgy: hours, 1400-1450 and MS 276 Book of Hours, 15th century.

The students were particularly keen to see manuscript codices, with interesting palaeographical, illustrative or codicological features, and which helped to expand their knowledge of medieval texts and illustrate some of the topics studied throughout their year-long course in St Andrews.

25th-26th May 2018 – Collections Close Up and Bookbinding Workshop and Talk


Museums and Special Collections hosted two events as part of the May Festival 2018. On the 25th May a Collections Close Up: Botanical Books was held in the Seminar Room from 12.30-2.30 attended by around 70 people.

Jane Pirie, Michelle Gait and Jan Smith each chose a favourite botanical book from the collections and were on hand to turn the pages and answer questions about the books.

Collections Close Up Handout

The following day on the 26th May a Book Binding Workshop and Talk was held from 10.30-12.30. The 14 attendees were able to make their own mini notebook with the guidance of our Book Conservator Brannah Mackenzie in the Glucksman Conservation Centre. This was followed by a talk and display of some of the amazing rare books held in Special Collections by Jane Pirie, Rare Books Cataloguer, highlighting the importance of bindings as a source of information about the provenance and history of each book as well as demonstrating the detail and skill in creating these beautiful bindings.

The bookbinding workshop and talk is proving particularly popular so keep checking our social media updates and book early for our next session!

A list of the material on display can be found here: Bookbinding workshop and talk, May Festival 2018



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