Chris Bonington's Everest
Chris Bonington's Everest

The Victorian era heralded the new sport of climbing and 1887 saw the foundation of the Cairngorm Club. Publications on all aspects of the new popular sport were soon rolling off the press and the Club quickly established a Library for its members. In 1993 the Collection was re-located to Special Libraries and Archives (now the Special Collections Centre), University of Aberdeen. In addition to the Library, the archives of the Cairngorm Club were also deposited. As would be expected, the Collection concentrates on all aspects of mountaineering with special relevance to Scotland. The Club has also issued its own journal, The Cairngorm Club Journal, since 1893 which is full of articles on all aspects of mountaineering as well as more general subjects.

Cairngorm Club Journal: We now have the Journal online. It can be accessed through the Cairngorm Club Club site or directly,  via:

Keywords: Mountaineering; rock-climbing; geology; Cairngorm Mountains.

Strengths: Although much of the stock dates from the last twenty years or so, the Library does hold some important 19th century topographical books, as with George Robson's Scenery of the Grampian Mountains (London, 1814), and John Bristed's Pedestrian Tour through Part of the Highlands of Scotland (London: Wallis, 1803). An early treasure is a copy of Taylor & Skinner's Survey and Maps of the Roads of North Britain or Scotland (London: D. Wilson & G. Nicol, 1776). Late Victorian and Edwardian mountaineering texts are well represented, and include many prepared by Edward Whymper. The periodical runs include Die Alpen, L'Echo des Alpes, the American Alpine Journal and the Canadian Alpine Journal. The guides and serial publications of the Scottish Mountaineering Club are also present, as are several sequences of the Cairngorm Club Journal itself.

Languages:English, French

Identifier: Cairngorm Club

Physical characteristics: c. 1150 volumes and over 40 periodical runs.

Accumulation date range: 1887-present

Contents date range: 1776-present

Associated Publications: For the Club's latest catalogue, see 'The Cairngorm Club Library', Cairngorm Club Journal, 20 (1996), 252-78. Weir, Tom, '100 Hundred Years on the Hills', Scots Magazine, 128, (December 1987), 293-298. Murray, Sheila, The Cairngorm Club, 1887-1987 (Aberdeen: Cairngorm Club, c. 1987). AU MS 3405: Records of Cairngorm Club, 1890-1972. Information is also available about the activities of the Cairngorm Club on the website and on the Library catalogue

Accrual Status: Partial.

Custodial history/provenance: The Library of the Cairngorm Club was deposited with Aberdeen University in 1993. Consisting of around 750 volumes and over 40 periodical runs, the Library is still added to by purchases made by, and gifts made to, the Club.

Access Control: Closed access -please request. Only members of the Cairngorm Club may borrow from this Collection. Books and periodicals within the Collection may, however, be consulted by all bona fide readers.