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Papers of William Kirk Dickson

 Fonds — Box: Dk.1.3
Identifier: Coll-799

Scope and Contents

The papers include: valedictory address by Robert Louis Stevenson to the Speculative Society, 1873; drawing of David Masson, drawn by William Hole; illustrations of the Men's Union building, and the Old Quad; notes on lectures of Henry Calderwood taken by Dickson; notes on Professor Masson's lectures, 1880; two letters to Dickson from John Ruskin, Honorary President of the Associated Societies of the University of Edinburgh, 1883; two letters and copy letters to Dickson from Robert Browning, Honorary President of the Associated Societies of the University of Edinburgh, 1885-1887; letter to Dickson from S.R. Crockett, Penicuik, 1895; bibliography compiled by Dickson, 1880-1934; and, two photographs of Dickson.


  • 1877-1934

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

William Kirk Dickon 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.


1 box.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession no. E78.1.

Related Materials

The local Indexes show other references to Dickson related material (check the Indexes for more details): letter of Dickson to A. Berriedale Keith, about a copyright book not in the Advocates ' Library, 16 January 1923, with copy of reply, 12 January 1923, Gen. 145/2/68; letters of Dickson to C. Sarolea, 1914, 1927, in Sar.Coll.14 and 225. In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes these: memoirs, lectures and correspondence, 1913-1939, National Library of Scotland, Ref. MSS 2959, 2979, 3998, and autograph collection, 1771-1937, Ref. MS 9657, and correspondence with his son, Robert and miscellaneous papers, 1904-1949, Ref. MSS 13501-97.
Papers of William Kirk Dickson (1860-1949)

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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