Ex libris David Hume

Recently we had an opportunity to acquire a volume with five works by the French writer, historian and philosopher Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) (1694-1778). They were printed between 1766 and 1769. But the really exciting thing about the volume (RB.s.2875(1-5)) is not its contents, but its provenance: it was formerly in the library of the eminent Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776)! We […]

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Walter Scott’s ‘Waverley’: Voices from the archives

We’re celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Walter Scott’s first novel, Waverley, with a free treasures display: Open now! Waverley is the only novel in the world which has a train station and a paddle steamer named after it,  and the Scott Monument in Princes Street is the tallest monument in the world erected in memory […]

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A picturesque marriage proposal

A picturesque scene from Lady Anne Barnard’s 1772 ballad “Auld Robin Gray” is depicted in this hand-coloured mezzotint print (AP.5.213.13). Robin, an older Scotsman, is asking for a young girl’s hand. The girl, Jenny, is sitting at a spinning-wheel and Robin, wearing a kilt and tartan hose, and her mother are standing close-by outside a cottage. While Robin and Jenny’s mother are looking at her […]

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