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3. Peebles, Selkirk, Roxburgh, Berwick, circa 1850 (spine-dated 1849)

Identifier: Coll-10/3

Scope and Contents

The third volume of Adam White’s set of eight scrapbook albums covers the historical Scottish Border counties of Peeblesshire, Selkirkshire, Roxburghshire and Berwickshire.

As with the other albums, the arrangement is broadly by locality. Topographical and architectural views – from the eighteenth-century antiquarians Grose, de Cardonell and Archibald Rutherford onwards – are accompanied by other material including newspaper and magazine cuttings and portrait illustrations of, and memorabilia associated with, local notables.

The coverage of Peebles and surrounding Tweeddale reflects White’s family connections with the area and includes White’s own sketches of architectural and topographic subjects.

The Border abbeys – Melrose, Jedburgh, Kelso and Dryburgh – and their related antiquities are illustrated extensively. Castles, churches and country seats are recorded, with prospects of the Border towns. More recent feats of civil engineering are depicted in representations of Pease Bridge (1786) and the Union Chain Bridge (1820).

Literary associations are suggested in the Ettrick haunts of James Hogg, and the Berwickshire origins of the poet James Thomson.

The most notable of the literary memorabilia brought together in this volume however relate to the author and celebrity Walter Scott and the aura surrounding his life and work. There are no fewer than eighteen portraits of Scott himself in various media, including an original pencil sketch by J.P. Knight. Specimens of Scott’s handwriting are included.

There are a further thirteen engravings illustrating Scott’s home, Abbotsford, and additional items depict local Scott-related sites and curiosities from the Abbotsford collections; and there are illustrations of the monuments to Scott in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the latter including a (very faded) Hill and Adamson calotype.

The presence of Scott is also felt elsewhere. A number of the architectural and antiquarian plates were published in Scott’s own Provincial Antiquities (1826); and many of the topographical prints – for example, engravings after J.C. Schetky or J.W.M. Turner – were conceived as illustrations of the Border landscape settings of Scott novels and poems.


  • Other: circa 1850 (spine-dated 1849)

Conditions Governing Access



220 items (1 album)

Previous reference




Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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