Blaikie Collection


Blaikie Collection


Formed by Dr Walter Biggar Blaikie (1847-1928) FRSE, of the Edinburgh printing firm of T & A Constable, this collection is devoted to the Stuart and Jacobite period, 1688-1746. Blaikie started his working life as a civil engineer, but spent over 40 years working in the printing industry. He was also a recognised authority on the history of Jacobitism, who wrote three books on the subject. His collection of 1,076 printed items in 756 volumes and around 400 engravings relate to the attempts of the House of Stuart to reinstate itself on the throne of Great Britain. There is a good representation of polemical pamphlet literature on the controversy over the birth of James VII/II's son in 1688, and the associated political questions of allegiance and legitimacy; historical works on the course of the Risings of 1715 and 1745 are complemented by contemporary poems, satires and sermons, many in French. There are also accounts of the trials, executions and expropriations that followed both Risings with the Government viewpoint recorded in the numerous Session Papers and Acts of Parliament concerned with these matters.


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


The collection was presented to the Library in 1928 by Dr Blaikie's daughters.

Related collections

The collection also included 42 manuscripts and three charters. The manuscripts are held at MSS.278-318 & MSS.3128. They are described and indexed in volumes 1 & 2 of the Library's 'Catalogue of manuscripts'.

The 24 boxes of engravings of the Royal House of Stuart - portraits, views, broadsides, and caricatures were placed by the Library on long-term deposit in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery shortly after they were acquired. The prints are available for consultation by appointment in the Portrait Gallery. They have all been digitised and are available to view on the Library's website. A small number of engravings have been retained in the collection held in the Library.


'Shelf-Catalogue of the Blaikie Collection of Jacobite Pamphlets, Broadsides and Proclamations', Boston, 1964.

'A Bequest of Engravings to the National Library of Scotland', WG Blaikie Murdoch, Apollo, 13 (1931), 167-73.

'W.B. Blaikie Collection [Scottish National Portrait Gallery exhibition catalogue]', [Edinburgh, 1987].

Online resources

Jacobite prints and broadsides in the Blaikie Collection