Scholarly Book Collecting in Restoration Scotland

The Library of the Revd James Nairn (1629–1678)


The wide scholarly interests of Scots in the Restoration period are analysed by Murray Simpson through this in-depth study of the library of James Nairn (1629–1678), a Scottish parish minister. Nairn's collection demonstrates a remarkable receptivity to new intellectual ideas. At some two thousand titles Nairn’s is the biggest library formed in this period for which we have detailed and accurate records. The collection is analysed by subject. In addition, there is a biographical study and chapters investigating aspects of the Scottish book market and comparing other contemporary Scottish clerical libraries. A short-title catalogue of the collection, giving references to relevant online bibliographies and catalogues, a select provenance index and a subject index complete the work.

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Murray C. T. Simpson, Ph.D. (1988), formerly Director of Special Collections at the National Library of Scotland, has published numerous articles on the history of the book and of libraries in Scotland from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.
Explanatory Notes


Part 1: Analysis

1 A Life of James Nairn

2 How Nairn Acquired His Books: Some Aspects of the Scottish Book Market, c.1650–1685

3 Nairn’s Library: An Overview

4 Theology
  A General Survey
  B Statistical Survey
   B.i Post-1517 Christian Theology and Other Religions
   B.ii Pre-reformation Christian Theology
   B.iii Bibles and Biblical Studies

5 Philosophy, Psychology, Science and Medicine
 A General Survey
 B Statistical Survey

6 Literature and Language Studies
 A General Survey
 B Statistical Survey

7 History, Geography, Antiquarian Studies; Political Science and Law
  A General Survey
  B Statistical Survey
   B.iHistory, Geography, and Antiquarian Studies
   B.iiPolitical Science and Law

8 Other clerical Book Collectors in Restoration Scotland

9 Conclusion

Part 2:Catalogue

Introduction to the Catalogue

Catalogue of the Library of James Nairn


Appendix 1 A Volume Bearing the Signature “James Nairne” in Edinburgh University Library

Appendix 2 Select Provenance Index

Appendix 3 Subject Index

Sketch Map of the Firth of Forth Area, Showing Places of Relevance to James Nairn

Index to Part 1
All interested in the history of the book and of libraries in Scotland, and anyone concerned with the intellectual interests of Scots in the later seventeenth century.
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