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A List of Works relating to Scotland
Compiled by George F Black of the New York Library


This is a book for researchers but thought I'd make it available on the site and here is the Introduction for you to read here...

ALTHOUGH Scotland is a small country, it is no exaggeration to say that its influence in the world has been in inverse geometrical proportion to its size and population. For centuries the country was extremely poor and economically unproductive. The natural consequence was that many thousands of her ablest sons passed over to the Continent, there to carve out careers for themselves. Some idea of the extent of this migration is shown by the statement of William Lithgow, that in his time Poland was a mother and nurse "for the youth and younglings of Scotland, who are yearly sent hither in great numbers," and that "thirty thousand Scots families" were living "incorporate in her bowells. (Rare adventures and painefid peregrinations, London, 1632, p. 422). Large numbers entered the service of France, Russia, and Sweden, many rising to positions of the highest eminence and trust.

On the plantation of Ulster in 1609 and following years, large numbers of Scots emigrated to that province, and from there in later years many thousands crossed to the American colonies. One of the main causes of this second emigration was the Irish insurrection of 1641, which was in fact an outbreak directed mainly against the Scottish and English settlers in Ulster. Another contributing cause was the petty oppressions and restrictions on trade imposed by the English government.

In Scotland proper, the seventeenth century was also a period of storm and stress and ecclesiastical persecution, with the inevitable result of a constant emigration to the colonies, where hopes were entertained of greater freedom and liberty of conscience.

In their new homes on this side of the Atlantic a people who had endured such suffering and persecution were little inclined to submit to further oppression, and hence it was that among their descendants were found the leaders in the struggle for American independence. Their leadership in the causes which led to the Revolution has been well put by Bancroft in the following words: "The first voice publicly raised in America to dissolve all connection with Great Britain came not from the Puritans of New England, nor the Dutch of New York, nor the planters of Virginia, but from the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians."

In literature Scotland can point to such names as Barbour, Henryson ("the Scottish Chaucer"), Dunbar, Gawin Douglas, Sir David Lindsay, Drummond of Hawthornden, Arthur Johnston, George Buchanan, Allan Ramsay, Robert Fergusson, Burns, Thomson, Blair, Smollet, Scott, Henry Mackenzie, Falconer, Tannahill, Jeffrey, Hogg, Allan Cunningham, Tennant, Motherwell, Campbell, Miss Ferrier, Joanna Baillie, "Christopher North," Gait, Aytoun, Michael Scott, Mrs. Oliphant, George Macdonald, William Black, John Davidson, R. L. Stevenson, Andrew Lang, Sir J. M. Barrie, S. R. Crockett, etc.

In history (omitting the old chroniclers) she has David Calderwood, Archbishop Spottiswoode, Sir James Dalrymple, Bishop Burnet, Principal Robertson, David Hume, George Chalmers, John Pinkerton, Malcolm Laing, Patrick Fraser Tytler, Sir Archibald Alison, John Hill Burton, W. L. Mathieson, Hume-Brown, etc.

In philosophy, David Hume, Thomas Reid, and Adam Smith have profoundly influenced intellectual Europe and America. Other great names in this field are Lord Karnes, Dugald Stewart, Thomas Brown, Sir James Mackintosh, Sir William Hamilton, Professor Ferrier, Thomas Carlyle, and Arthur James Balfour.

Science is represented by such names as Napier of Merchiston, the Gregories, Simson, Joseph Black, Sir David Brewster, J. D. Forbes, James Clerk Maxwell, Lord Kelvin, Peter Guthrie Tait, Balfour Stewart, Sir William Ramsay, and Sir James Dewar.

In British geology Scotland can claim most of the greatest names: Hutton, Playfair, Hall, Murchison, Miller, Lyell, Ramsay, Croll, Peach, Home, Gregory, and the two Geikies. In medicine and surgery there are the Gregories, Cullens, Monros, Hunters, Bells, Simpson, Liston, Syme, Lister, etc., and in engineering and steam navigation, James Watt, the Rennies, Telford, Symington, Henry Bell, the Stevensons, Macquorn Rankine, and Arrol.

In art the names of Jameson, Nasmyth, Allan, Thomson, Raeburn, Wilkie, Dyce, David Scott, Roberts, Phillip, MacCulloch, Fettes-Douglas, Sir George Reid, and J. Y. Cameron are high in the roll of fame. Scottish music and song are renowned the world over, and in the domain of theology, as becomes the mother-land of John Knox, Scotland has long held a leading place. The founders of the Bank of England (Paterson) and of the Bank of France (Law) were Scotsmen, and Scotland has given to England two lord chancellors (Erskine and Campbell), alord chief justice (Cockburn), two archbishops of Canterbury (Tait and Davidson), and two archbishops of York (Maclagan and Lang). The late editor-in-chief of the great Oxford English Dictionary, Sir James Murray, was a Scotsman, and so also is one of the two assistant editors, Craigie. Lastly, the names of Scottish heroes are "writ large" on every page of the naval and military history of the United Kingdom.

To some, the collections in the Library relating to Scotland will appear to be complete or very nearly so. Such, however, is far from the fact the gaps are many and serious. Particularly is this true of local history and genealogy, and of the publications of the early book-clubs the \bbotsford Bannatyne, Maitland, and Spalding Clubs. As they stand, however the Library's resources form an excellent foundation on which to build up 'a collection worthy of the country whose influence on the settlement, formation and progress of the United States has been adequately recognized only within recent years.

This list includes, besides separately printed books and pamphlets papers in the transactions and proceedings of scientific societies, and important articles in magazines. Not everything of this latter class has been included as the time at my disposal did not permit of an exhaustive search for titles
Nevertheless, I do not think that much of importance has been overlooked.

George F. Black.

You can download this book in pdf format here


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