Dowden Collection


Dowden Collection


A group of around 880 volumes largely of theological literature, with a notable collection of liturgical works, selected from the Bishop Dowden Memorial Library. The collection was formed chiefly by John Dowden (1840-1910), Bishop of Edinburgh, and the books date from the 15th (five incunabula) to the 20th century. Originally from Ireland, Dowden was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, before moving to Scotland in the 1870s where he became Principal of the Edinburgh Theological College of the Scottish Episcopal Church. In 1880 he was appointed canon of St. Mary's Cathedral, then six years later Bishop of Edinburgh. Dowden's books were purchased by friends and presented to the Cathedral as a memorial to him.


The books have been catalogued individually and have the shelfmark 'Dowd.'. The incunabula have been placed as part of the Library's Incunabula Collection.


In 1954 the collection was placed on long-term deposit in the Library by the Chapter of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh. A number of volumes were added to the deposit in 1970 and 1991.

Related collections

Correspondence and papers relating to John Dowden were deposited in the Library between 1970 and 1972. The manuscripts are held at Dep.171.




Episcopal Church (Scotland)

Incunables (in NLS collections)

Liturgical works