Abbotsford Collection


Abbotsford Collection


A selection of books from the library of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) at Abbotsford. It consists of 106 volumes and 276 pamphlets consisting mainly of literature, 17th- and 18th-century plays and early 19th-century volumes of poetry. Twenty-five volumes are signed by Sir Walter Scott and some are marked as duplicates. There are also works on history, biography, sale catalogues, and some works on witchcraft. The pamphlets cover a wide range of subject matter, and, although mainly London and Edinburgh imprints, they do include a number of continental printings. A number of the books were bound for Scott in brown Russia leather with his badge of a portcullis and his motto in gold at the head of the spine. Notable items include two volumes of 18th-century Spanish and Italian chapbooks collected by John Gibson Lockhart (1794-1854), Scott's son-in-law, and the second volume of an edition of Shakespeare begun by Scott and Lockhart in 1822-1823, but abandoned after three volumes were printed.


The books have been catalogued individually and have the shelfmark 'Abbot.'.


The collection was bought in 1934-1935 from Major-General Sir Walter Maxwell Scott (1875-1954), a direct descendant of Sir Walter Scott and the then owner of Abbotsford.

Related collections

Letters and papers of Sir Walter Scott and John Gibson Lockhart were also purchased by the Library from Maxwell-Scott in 1931-1932 and 1934-1935. Among this manuscript material is a printed version of Sir Walter Scott's journal, covering the period 9 February 1826 - 13 April 1831, one of three copies printed for Lockhart in preparation for his biography of Scott. The manuscripts are held at MSS.851-938 and MSS.1549-1634. They are described and indexed in Volume 1 of the Library's Catalogue of manuscripts.

The remaining books in the library at Abbotsford are owned and administered by the Faculty of Advocates Abbotsford Collection Trust. The books are catalogued and the catalogue records can be found on the Advocates Library catalogue. All enquiries about the Abbotsford Library should be addressed to the Senior Librarian of the Advocates Library.

Online resources

Abbotsford library

Abbotsford House





English plays

Italian language and literature

Sale catalogues

Scott, Sir Walter

Shakespeare, William

Spanish language and literature