George IV Bridge – celebrating 50 years

Classic poems printed on silk: acquired in 1979

In the Newhailes Collection at the National Library of Scotland is one of only three known copies of an edition of classic Greek poems printed on silk.

Shown are the binding and title page of this edition of Anacreon's 'Odes', selected poems by Anacreon, Sappho and Erinna, printed in 1754.

In the middle of the 18th century there was a minor craze in Scotland, especially in Glasgow, for printing a few copies of Greek and Latin classics editions on linen or silk, probably for presentation.

Sir David Dalrymple, Lord Hailes (1726-1792), inherited and greatly expanded the family library at his home, Newhailes House, near Edinburgh. At the time of his death there were over 5,000 volumes, most of which now form the Newhailes Collection.

These books were officially received by the Library in April 1979. They were allocated to us by the Government, which had accepted the volumes in lieu of estate duty from the Trustees of the late Sir Mark Dalrymple.

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