Three discreet but complementary collections of bound pamphlets, encompassing a vast panorama of subjects. The Collections were all accumulated in the nineteenth century.
Thomson: Alexander Thomson of Banchory-Devenick (1798-1868), graduate of Marischal College (MA 1816, LLD 1855) studied and collected eclectically. Subjects represented include education, law, mathematics, language and literature, botany, geology and zoology. Thomson travelled widely with his family in Europe, especially in Italy and France. The Pamphlet Collection is separate from Thomson’s library of some 2,400 books, acquired by the University at the same time and also held at the Special Collections Centre.
Herald: this Collection of pamphlets dates mostly from the nineteenth century, and also covers a wide range of subjects, though political issues figure prominently. The Collection was built up over the years 1832-72 by the Aberdeen Herald newspaper office, and transferred to the University Library around 1874. It was subsequently supplemented from other sources up to the 1920s.
King: comprising some 405 volumes of pamphlets bequeathed originally to the Belmont Street Congregational Church, Aberdeen, by George King (1797-1872), a local bookseller and printer. The Collection’s subject coverage is, again, diverse, but is notable for theological and local literature content, including some unique items.

Keywords: North-east Scotland; Free Church of Scotland; Church of Scotland; social issues; law; politics; philosophy; theology

Strengths: Thomson. Social issues, education, ecclesiastical affairs and archaeology. Continental imprints on various subjects, reflecting an interest in languages, particularly Italian. North-east Scotland during the nineteenth century.

Herald. Local presses. A large number cover political debates (local, regional and national).

King. Theological literature and local literature, from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Local printing, including four notices from Edward Raban's press: Solemn League and Convenant (1643) and three Proclamations (1644).

Languages:English, French, Italian, Latin

Identifier: Thomson, Herald, King

Physical characteristics: c. 13,700 pamphlets contained within 919 bound volumes overall. Thomson: c. 6,000 pamphlets in 341 volumes; Herald: c. 3,540 pamphlets in 173 volumes; King: c. 4,145 pamphlets in 405 volumes.

Accumulation date range: 1800s - 1870s

Contents date range: 1715 - nineteenth century

Associated Publications: Aberdeen University Library, Catalogue of Pamphlets in the King, the Thomson and the Herald Collections, (Aberdeen University Studies 104) (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University, 1927).

Thomson: Papers of Alexander Thomson, Banchory, Kincardineshire, 1868-73. AU MS 2769/II/113: Papers of Alexander Thomson, Banchory, Aberdeenshire, 1868-73. AU MS 2829: Catalogue of Library of Alexander Thomson (1798-1868), of Banchory, author, as bequeathed to Free Church College, Aberdeen. AU MS 3244/1-8: Papers of Alexander Thomson (1798-1868), author, Banchory, Kincardineshire.

Herald: Anderson-Smith, M., 'Local Pamphlets', Northern Scotland 17 (1997), 129-33. AU MS 2769/I/59/1-2 Records of Aberdeen Herald, 1833-77. MS 2769/II/9/1-5 Records of Aberdeen Herald, 1833-77.

King: Catalogue of Books in the Select Library of Belmont Street Congregational Church: The Gift of Mr. George King, F.S.A. Scot., formerly Bookseller in Aberdeen (Aberdeen: Murray, 1876). Bulloch J. Malcolm, 'King's Pamphlet Library, Aberdeen', Scottish Notes and Queries vol. II, 2nd series (June, 1888), 2-3, reprinted as Appendix C in J. M. Bulloch (1898), 169-171. Bulloch, J. M., Centenary Memorials of the First Congregational Church in Aberdeen (Aberdeen: Murray, 1898). Available on Library OPAC or WebPAC

Accrual Status: Closed.

Custodial history/provenance: Thomson. Alexander Thomson bequeathed his library to the Free Church College, Aberdeen, with directions that it be made over to the University should that College cease to be recognised by the Free Church for the training of its ministers. The pamphlet and book Collections were transferred to the custody of the University of Aberdeen around 1960.

Herald. Based on a Collection belonging to the Aberdeen Herald newspaper office (1832-72), supplemented by volumes of pamphlets donated subsequently. Vols. 155-60 are 'Ex libris Gul. D. Geddes Equitis.' Vols. 170-1 were presented by Prof. Hay in 1927. Vol. 172 was purchased in 1928. Vol. 173 was presented by William Kelly, LLD in 1928. How they came to the University is not known, but it would appear that they were deposited shortly after the closure of the Herald in 1877. The Herald presented the University Library with a complete run of the newspaper (from 1 September 1832 to 29 April 1876) on 21 August 1877. It seems probable that the pamphlets were deposited at the same time.

King. Starting his career in the book trade in 1826 gave King an opportunity to indulge his various collecting interests in history and ecclesiastical matters. The Collection was originally intended for the library of the Free Church College. However, Thomson's bequest of a similar Collection to that library rather forestalled King's intention. King subsequently left his Collection to his own church, the Belmont Street Congregational Church. It remained with the Church from 1872 until transfer to the University Library in 1905.

Access Control: Closed access - please request. Non-borrowable.