William Kirk Dickson was born in Edinburgh on 24 November 1860. He was educated at Merchiston Castle School which he left in 1875. He studied at Edinburgh University where he obtained an MA in 1880. Dickson became an Advocate in 1887 and he was Keeper of the Advocates' Library 1905. He became the first Librarian of the National Library of Scotland, 1925-1931. He was awarded an Honorary LL.D. from St. Andrews University in 1912. His publications includeThe life of Major-General Sir Robert Murdoch Smith(1901),The Jacobite attempt of 1719which he edited for the Scottish History Society, 1895,Historical geography of the clans of Scotland(1899),The surrender of Napoleon(1904), andThe Register of the Great Seal of Scotland under the Commonwealth(1904) of which he was the joint editor. Dickson was appointed Rhind Lecturer for 1914, and lectured onThe development of writing and printing in Western Europe. William Kirk Dickson died 14 July 1949.