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Glass slides collected by Stanley Cavaye

Identifier: Coll-1328

Scope and Contents

The glass slides measuring approximately 8.5 cms x 8.5 cms show classical scenes largely of 19th century Italy, a 'Grand tour of Italy' in effect - Rome and the Vatican, Venice, Vesuvius, Pompeii, Florence, Pisa, Naples, and the Italian Lakes. Some of the scenes are hand-coloured.


  • Creation: 1880-1920


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

James Stanley Cavaye was born in 1914. He served as a Councillor in Edinburgh. He was first elected as a Progressive to the old City of Edinburgh Corporation in 1970 and switched to the Conservatives two years later. When local government was reorganised in 1974 he successfully stood as a Tory for both Lothian Regional Council and Edinburgh District Council.

His working life was spent in Portobello Power Station, originally run by the municipal Electricity Department, latterly the South of Scotland Electricity Board.

Cavaye had been a collector of glass-plate slides for 'magic lantern shows', buying these in the small junk shops that used to be found in Edinburgh's Grassmarket and the West Bow. He found and saved the Begbie Collection of very early glass-plate photographs of Edinburgh. They were found in a flat in St. James Square in 1950. He gifted the plates to the City Arts Centre, Edinburgh, in 1990. The gift is known as the 'Cavaye Collection of Thomas Begbie Plates'.

He was a founder and former Chair of the Edinburgh Festival Volunteer Guides Association (set up in 1947) which gave tours of the Royal Mile. He also gave lectures on the history of Edinburgh.

Stanley Cavaye died in 2004. He was buried at Liberton Cemetery on Thursday 12 February 2004.


70 Photographic Slides

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Via History of Art dept. Accession no: E2011.43.

Processing Information

Compiled by Graeme D. Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.

Glass-plate slides collected by Stanley Cavaye (1915-2004)
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379