Millgate Union Catalogue of Walter Scott Correspondence

Acknowledgements by Professor Jane Millgate

Thanks must first of all go to Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott and her sister, the late Mrs Patricia Maxwell-Scott, not only for graciously granting permission to have copies made of unpublished Scott letters, but also for enthusiastically supporting the idea of a Union Catalogue of Scott Correspondence at its inception and maintaining a constant interest in its progress over the seven years it took to complete. During those years I was assisted in every aspect of compilation, organisation, and research by three fellow Scott scholars on whose scholarship and dedication the entire enterprise depended. While Richard Frank was involved primarily with the construction and development of the electronic database, Dr Sharon Ragaz with the creation of records for incoming letters, and Mary Newberry with the organisational side of the project, each team member participated in the development of policies, the search for letters, the identification of senders and recipients, the dating of correspondence, and the checking and re-checking of details in individual records. Two senior Scott scholars also made vital contributions at the very outset of the work: Professor David Hewitt, of the University of Aberdeen, generously made available the database he had compiled in the 1980s, with the assistance of Dr Mairi Robinson and others, in preparation for a listing of the Scott correspondence in the National Library of Scotland; Alan Bell, formerly of the Department of Manuscripts of the National Library of Scotland, agreed, together with the department, to make available the papers relating to the Survey of Scott Correspondence he had initiated in the 1970s. These two resources supplied important information on individual letters and provided a valuable means of checking that items in major Scott collections had not been overlooked.

Mention must also be made of those earlier scholars, now dead, whose work on Scott's correspondence underpins many of the entries in the present catalogue: John Gibson Lockhart, whose 1837-1838 biography not only established the shape of our understanding of Scott's life but also provided readers with their first glimpse of Scott's great gifts as a letter-writer; Sir Herbert Grierson, and his assistants Davidson Cook and W M Parker, who edited the 1932-1937 edition of The Letters of Sir Walter Scott; and Dr J C Corson, who made the full resources of that edition available through his Notes and Index to Sir Herbert Grierson's Edition of the Letters of Sir Walter Scott (1979).

The search for Scott correspondence to be included in the present catalogue could not have been successfully conducted without the active co-operation of staff in many libraries and other institutional collections. Thanks are due not only to the staff of the more than 1300 different libraries and collections mentioned in the Document Location or Transcripts fields of the catalogue, but to the staffs of several hundred additional institutions, in all parts of the world, who searched their collections in vain for Scott correspondence or related documents. Locating a manuscript or obtaining a photocopy proved in many cases only the beginning of a process that might involve both visits to the library and further correspondence when details required checking. Without the patience, learning, and engagement of the staff of many different collections this task could not have been accomplished. While it is impossible to mention by name everyone who helped with the quest for manuscripts, special gratitude is due to staff in those institutions with the largest holdings of Scott correspondence, for they inevitably bore the brunt of many enquiries, visits, and cries for help. First and foremost among such contributors is Dr Iain Gordon Brown, of the National Library of Scotland, essentially a member of the research team for this project from its inception. Robert Parks of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, the second most important location for Scott manuscripts, has similarly participated in every aspect of the work. Special thanks are also due to the following institutions with the largest holdings of Scott correspondence: Advocates' Library and the Abbotsford Library (Angus Stewart); Henry W and Albert A Berg Collection, New York Public Library (Rodney Phillips); Beinecke Library, Yale University (Vincent Giroud); British Library (Brett Dolman); Brotherton Collection, Leeds University (Chris Sheppard); Edinburgh University Library (Jean Archibald and Paul Barnaby); Fales Library, New York University (Mike Kelly); Hornel Library, Kirkcudbright (James Allen); Huntington Library, San Marino (Gayle M Barclay); John Murray Archives (Virginia Murray); National Archives of Scotland (Patrick Cadell); Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (A P W Malcomson); Royal College of Surgeons (Tina Craig); Signet Library (Audrey Walker); Watkinson Library, Trinity College Hartford (Alesandra Schmidt).

My personal thanks are especially extended to those who welcomed me into their homes, sent me photocopies, or allowed me to record Scott correspondence from their private collections currently deposited in other locations: Keith Adam of Blair Adam; the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch; the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres; Diana Bradshaw; Margaret Connor; Lady Eccles; Canon Stephen Huxley; Jeremy Marriage; Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott; Sir Andrew Morritt; the Marquess of Northampton; the Duke of Northumberland; Eric Nye; Stephen Pastore; Eric Robertson; Eric Quayle; W B Todd and the late Ann Bowden. While working on some of these collections I was helped by the following archivists and scholars who shared their expert knowledge and greatly simplified my task: Jenny Macleod (Blair Adam); Peter H McKay (Northampton Archives, Castle Ashby).

Compilation of the catalogue has also indispensably depended upon the many people who took the time and trouble to answer questions about the dating, identification, and location of manuscripts, and the staffs of the manuscripts room of the National Library of Scotland and the Reading Room of the Pierpont Morgan Library are especially to be thanked for their unfailing patience, erudition, and ingenuity. Numerous colleagues and friends also provided help with specific puzzles and problems: J H Alexander, Sandra Alston, J D Baird, Alan Bell, Michael Bott, Ian Campbell, David Daiches, Bill Edwards, Gillian Fenwick, K J Fielding, Peter Garside, Douglas Gifford, Harriet Harvey-Wood, David Hewitt, Gillian Hughes, J R de J Jackson, Richard D Jackson, Alexandra Johnston, Claire Lamont, Richard Landon, Alison Lumsden, Douglas Mack, Carolyn McCracken-Flesher, Michael Millgate, Takero Sato, Lisa Sherlock, Bill Stoneman, Archie Turnbull.

A long-term project of this kind, involving travel, correspondence, research assistance, and the costs associated with photocopying and manuscript searches, could not have been completed without generous funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and from Victoria University in the University of Toronto, and particular thanks are due to both institutions for their understanding of the special needs of research in the humanities. Thanks are again due to the National Library of Scotland, not only for significant help in assembling basic material for the catalogue, but in the provision of the technical support required for translation of the catalogue into published electronic form.

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