The MacBean Collection, with over 3,500 books and 1,000 pamphlets, plus numerous sermons, official reports and satirical verse, is one of the largest Jacobite Collections in Great Britain, and provides invaluable insights into later-seventeenth- and eighteenth-century society in general, and, in particular, the various Jacobite risings. Every aspect of the Jacobite movement is represented, both pro and con. Contemporary accounts include proclamations by the principal protagonists as well as writings of respective supporters and other observers.
Keywords: Jacobitism; history; politics; religion.
Strengths: The material which dates from the late-seventeenth-century to the present time covers every aspect of the Jacobite rebellions: the causes and effects, the personalities, royal, national and local, historical processes, propaganda, military history and political intrigue. In form they range from official proclamations and reports (Hanoverian and Jacobite), tracts and pamphlets, through contemporary newspaper reports to satirical verse. There are at least 200 sermons bearing on the issue.
Languages:English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Scots Gaelic
Physical characteristics: c. 3350 books; c. 1000 pamphlets, sermons and magazine articles; c. 1580 loose plates (woodcuts, engravings, etc.); over 100 broadsheets; a few MSS.; and c. 1950 photographs of Scottish places and scenery.
Accumulation date range: 1870s-present
Contents date range: 1680s - present.
Associated Publications: Allardyce, M. D., 'The MacBean Stuart and Jacobite Collection I', Aberdeen University Review, 15 (1927-28), 207-218; 'The MacBean Stuart and Jacobite Collection II', Aberdeen University Review, 16 (1928-29), 31-42. Allardyce, Mabel D. (comp.), Aberdeen University Library MacBean Collection: a catalogue of books, pamphlets, broadsides, portraits, etc., in the Stuart and Jacobite Collection gathered together by W. M. MacBean (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1949). AU MS 979: Memorial to William Munro MacBean (1852-1924), of Saint Andrew's Society, New York State, 1914. Obituary notices of William MacBean appear in Aberdeen University Review, 11 (1924), 191 and The New York Times, 14th of February, 1924.. Anderson, P. J. (?), 'The William M. MacBean Jacobite Collection', Aberdeen University Library Bulletin, 4 (1919), 81-90. MacBean also wrote a series of articles which appeared in the Inverness Courier from 21st August, 1903, to 16th January, 1904, entitled 'A Contribution towards Jacobite Iconography'. Available Library OPAC or WebPAC
Accrual Status: Active
Custodial history/provenance: The Collection was donated in 1919 by William MacBean (1852-1924) of Yonkers, New York (a native of Nairn), who received the degree of LLD in 1922 in recognition of his benefaction. It is said that MacBean's initial intention was to bequeath his Collection to one of the American Universities but after meeting with Principal Sir George Adam Smith, then lecturing in the United States during the Great War, he fell under the spell of his personality, and offered the Collection instead to the University of Aberdeen.
Access Control: Closed access - please request. Non-borrowable.
Link to Catalogue: View the records in the University Library Catalogue