Mason Collection


Mason Collection


A collection of children's books formed by Eudo Colecestra Mason (1901-1969), who became Professor of German in the University of Edinburgh in 1951. Mason was born in Colchester and his unusual Christian names were derived from Eudo Dapifer, an eleventh-century governor of Colchester and from the medieval name for the town (Colenceaster or Colneceastre). Mason was awarded the Friedrich-Gundolf-Preis by the German Academy for Language and Literature (Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung) in 1967 for his contribution to scholarship, in particular for his work on the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. The collection consists of over 3,600 items in English, French and German, including 21 manuscripts, and dates mostly from the 19th century. The collection reflects the education and amusement of children down the years, and includes: chapbooks, many published in Glasgow and Paisley, folding-sheet games, card games, jig-saw puzzles, a toy theatre with sheets of plain and coloured characters, a folding peep show, and two horn books. There are also many 'penny dreadfuls', and an almost complete collection of 'Books for the Bairns'.


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


The collection was presented to the Library after Professor Mason's death in 1969 by his executors.

Related collections

Mason's correspondence and bibliographical notes on children's books were also presented to the Library at the same time. The manuscripts held at Acc.4986.

Online resources

Children's books in the National Library of Scotland




Children’s books