Jolly Collection


Jolly Collection


This collection consists of a large part of the library of Alexander Jolly (1756-1838), Episcopal Bishop of Moray from 1798 onwards. There are 2,976 volumes mostly on theological subjects, spiritual and devotional literature (especially Anglican), dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, but also including two incunabula printed at Strassburg/Strasbourg. A number of volumes have annotations in Jolly's hand.

Jolly was renowned for his scholarship and his reclusive lifestyle in his home in Fraserburgh, spending a large part of his income on books. He left his library to the Scottish Episcopal Church and the books were moved to Edinburgh in the late 1830s to the recently-established Episcopal Library in 8, Hill Street to form a reference library for theological studies. The Hill Street building was at this time serving as the Edinburgh Theological College, the College having been set up in 1810 thanks to a bequest from a parishioner of Bishop Jolly, Miss Panton of Fraserburgh, for training young men to become members of the Episcopalian clergy.


The books have been catalogued individually and have the shelfmark 'Jolly.'. The incunabula are part of the Library's Incunabula Collection.


In 1958, the Theological College deposited the collection on long-term loan in the National Library. The deposit was converted into a gift in 1970, and the remaining books from Jolly's library were added to it.




Episcopal Church (Scotland)

Incunables (in NLS collections)