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Letter from the University of Aberdeen to My Dear Sir

Identifier: Coll-1404

Scope and Contents

Letter on 4 sides (113mm x 179mm), dated 24 June 1869? from J.W. Pirie ? at the University of Aberdeen to 'My Dear Sir'.

The letter refers to Galvanism and an analogy made by the unknown correspondee and to how Pirie objects to the analogy. The letter refers to an argument from Oliphant? and how the correspondee's argument 'is ingenious'.


  • Creation: 1869


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

William Robinson Pirie was born at the manse of Slains, Aberdeenshire, on 26 July 1804. He studied at University and King's College, Aberdeen, during sessions 1817–21, but did not graduate. He spent some time in a lawyer's office in Aberdeen, but then attended theological classes during sessions 1821–25. He preached in Ellon, Dyce and at Greyfriars' Church in Aberdeen. In 1843 he was appointed Professor of Divinity in Marischal College and University, and in the following year received the honorary degree of D.D., both from Marischal College and from King's College. On the union of the two colleges in 1860 he was assigned the professorship of Divinity and Church History. On the death of Principal Campbell in 1876, Pirie became the resident head of the university, retaining this post until his death. William Robinson Pirie, Professor of Divinity and Principal of the University of Aberdeen, died on 3 November 1885.

This letter from Pirie appears to relate to 'Galvanism' and an argument around the subject, or an aspect of it. Galvanism is the contraction of a muscle that is stimulated by an electric current. In physics and chemistry, it is the induction of electrical current from a chemical reaction, typically between two chemicals with differing electronegativities. The effect was named after the scientist Luigi Galvani, who investigated the effect of electricity on dissected animals in the 1780s and 1790s.

The modern study of galvanic effects in biology is called electrophysiology, the term galvanism being used only in historical contexts.


1 letter

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Found inside the title Clinical lectures - principles and practice of medicine, Vol.4., John Hughes Bennett. Accession no: E2012.34

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie 07 December 2012

Letter from W. R. Pirie, University of Aberdeen, to 'My Dear Sir' dated 24 June 1869
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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