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24 drawings of quadrupeds, birds, fishes, reptiles and insects by James Tait Black

Identifier: Coll-1317

Scope and Contents

24 pen and ink drawings of quadrupeds, birds, fish, reptiles and insects by James Tait Black. There are two suites of work (1840 and 1841) with the same title but with a different set of 12 illustrations. The bindings of the two sets are in very poor condition.

The illustrations from the 1840 suite, one of which is coloured, are:

  1. The elephant
  2. The tiger
  3. The gnu
  4. The jackall
  5. The bull
  6. The mule
  7. The cockatoo
  8. The ostrich
  9. The trout
  10. The chub
  11. The annulated snake
  12. The tiger swallowtail butterfly

The illustrations from the 1841 suite are:

  1. The sheep
  2. The mastiff
  3. The llama
  4. The hog
  5. The red deer
  6. The snowy owl
  7. The emu
  8. The giant heron
  9. The whale
  10. The sawfish
  11. The butterfly
  12. The great sea serpent


  • Creation: 1840-1841


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

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

Biographical / Historical

James Tait Black was born in 1826. He was a partner in the publishing house of A & C Black Ltd. The firm had been founded in 1807 by Adam and Charles Black in Edinburgh, and moved to the Soho district of London in 1889. In 1851, the firm bought the copyright of Walter Scott's Waverley Novels for £27,000.

Black was the husband of Mrs Janet Coutts Black who set up a literature prize in his name in 1919 after his death in 1911.

Today, the company is now part of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, who purchased it in 2000. They are publishers of a range of reference works.


2 folders of 24 drawings, partly bound

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Material acquired August 2011, Accession no: E2011.31

Processing Information

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

24 drawings of quadrupeds, birds, fishes, reptiles and insects by James Tait Black (1826-1911)
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

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