Based upon the library of John Gregory (1724-73), (MD, King’s College, 1746), FRS, Mediciner at King's College, and later Professor of Medicine at Edinburgh University (1769-1773), this Collection was subsequently added to by other members of the family. It is said that over a period of five generations, the family produced some fourteen professors, who distinguished themselves in the fields of mathematics or medicine.
Keywords: Medicine; natural history, astronomy; chemistry; physics; history; religion; philosophy; literature; geography; archaeology.
Strengths: The books date from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, and are largely on scientific and medical subjects, including works by such well-known teachers as Bartholin, Boerhaave (1668-1730), Monro II and Willis. The remainder is of a more general nature, mainly in the fields of philosophy, religion, literature and history. John Gregory was an active member of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society (founded in 1758), and, as therefore might be expected, published writings of his colleagues from the group are also found in the Collection. The Collection is remarkably extensive and comprehensive, and is particularly rich in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century works. The scientific books in particular represent an exceptionally good collection, covering most subjects very thoroughly, with many of the standard scientific works of the period included.
Languages:English, Latin, French, German
Physical characteristics: The 'Catalogue of Dr James Gregorie his books, 1713' survives, listing some 150 titles, though the whole Collection comprises some 2100 books.
Accumulation date range: 1650s-1821
Contents date range: 1535 - early-twentieth century
Associated Publications: Anderson, P. J., 'The Gregories', The Deeside Field, 2 (1925), 48-53. Lawrence, P. D., The Gregory Family: a Biographical and Bibliographical Study to which is annexed a Bibliography of the Scientific and Medical books in the Gregory Library, Aberdeen University Library, 2 vols & index (unpublished PhD thesis, Aberdeen University, 1971) . Lawrence P. D., 'James Gregorie (1674-1733), his Life and his Books', Royal Society of Edinburgh Occasional Papers, 1 (1980), 1-35. McCullough, Laurence B., John Gregory and the Invention of Professional Medical Ethics and the Profession of Medicine (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1998). AU MS 995: Papers relating to history and genealogy of Gregory family, Aberdeenshire. AU MS 2206/1-49: Papers of Gregory family, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and St Andrews, 1582-1912. Available on Library OPAC or WebPAC
Accrual Status: Closed
Custodial history/provenance: At some time the Gregory Library, probably through family connections, came into the possession of the Forbes-Leith family of Fyvie, Aberdeenshire. The Collection was presented to the University of Aberdeen in 1938 by Sir Ian Forbes-Leith of Fyvie. It is based round the library of John Gregory, MD, FRS (1724-73), Mediciner at King's College, and later Professor of Medicine at Edinburgh University, which itself incorporated that of James Gregory (1674-1733), and has been added to by various members of the family, distinguished for generations especially in medicine and mathematics.
Access Control: Closed access - please request. Non-borrowable.