A History and Catalogue of the Lindsay Library, 1570–1792

The Story of 'Some bonie litle bookes'


This is the first study of Jacobean Scotland's largest library: the collection assembled over several generations by the Lindsays of Balcarres. It challenges prior understandings of pre-Union Scotland's book culture, presents the catalogue of a collection of international importance for the first time, and recovers the intellectual history behind this "Great Bibliotheck".
The volume includes chapters on the history of the library to the Restoration (Jane Stevenson) and from Restoration to Enlightenment (Kelsey Jackson Williams) as well as a detailed discussion of the library's reconstruction (William Zachs and Jackson Williams), a full catalogue, and appendices.

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Kelsey Jackson Williams, DPhil, University of Stirling, is lecturer in early modern literature at that university and has published extensively on Scottish intellectual and book history, notably The First Scottish Enlightenment: Rebels, Priests, and History (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Jane Stevenson, PhD, Campion Hall, University of Oxford, is Senior Research Fellow in that society and has published widely on Latinity, women's history, Catholic history, and British authors abroad.

William Zachs, PhD, LittD, University of Edinburgh, is Honorary Fellow in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures and one of the world's leading authorities on the history of the eighteenth-century book and author of The First John Murray and the Late Eighteenth-Century London Book Trade (Oxford University Press, 1998).
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Part 1: History and Context

1 From Reformation to Restoration
 1 Sir David Lindsay, Lord Edzell (1551?–1610)
 2 John Lindsay of Balcarres, Lord Menmuir (1552–98)
 3 David Lindsay, 1st Lord Lindsay of Balcarres (1587–1641)
 4 Between Manuscript and Book
 5 Alexander Lindsay, 1st Earl of Balcarres (1618–59)

2 From Restoration to Enlightenment
 1 Early Life
 2 Early Purchases
 3 The 1680s: Politics and Power
 4 Margaret Campbell, Countess of Balcarres, and the Balcarres Lute Book
 5 Exile and Return
 6 A National Legacy

3 Reconstructing the Lindsay Library
 1 A Library Unpacked and Reassembled
 2 Books, Catalogues, and the Shape of the Library
 3 Book Lists
 4 The Reconstruction
 5 Bibliometrics
 6 Conclusion

Part 2: Catalogue and Appendices

4 Catalogue

Appendix A: Transcriptions of Manuscript Book Lists I–VIII

Appendix B: Facsimile of 1792 Printed Sale Catalogue

Appendix C: Shelf-List of Lindsay Library Volumes at Balcarres House Today

Appendix D: Index of Prior and Subsequent Owners

Academics, post-graduates, librarians, and collectors interested in the history of the book in Scotland and the evolution of print culture in northern Europe.
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