This is the personal library of Robert Wilson, 1787-1871, of Banff. Wilson was an alumnus of Marischal College (1802-1804, MD, 1814) and the Royal College of Surgeons of England (Diploma, 1810). A precocious medical student, Wilson served as a ship’s surgeon on four East Indiaman voyages (1805-1814), and later travelled extensively to the Far and Near East. He founded Aberdeen’s Wilson Archaeological Studio (later Anthropological Museum) and Wilson Travelling Scholarship. The Collection reflects his diverse interests.

Keywords: Orientalism; archaeology; medicine; literature

Strengths: Travel, esp. Africa and Asia; archaeology; antiquity


Identifier: WN

Physical characteristics: 542 volumes

Accumulation date range: C19-1987

Contents date range: 1632-1987

Associated Publications: Will, Fasti Academiae Mariscallanae Aberdoniensus: Records of the Marischal College and University, ed. P. J. Anderson, Aberdeen: New Spalding Club, 1889, pp. 541-546; Stevenson, Jane, with Neil Curtis, 'Robert Wilson', The Library and Archive Collections of the University of Aberdeen: an introduction and description, edited by Iain Beavan, Peter Davidson and Jane Stevenson (Manchester University Press/University of Aberdeen, 2011), pp. 311-317. Available on Library OPAC.

Accrual Status: Closed.

Custodial history/provenance: The books were bequeathed to Marischal College in 1862 with collections of coins and antiquities. Wilson intended that the whole was to form a Studio in the College or neighbouring buildings. No part of collection was to be removed from New Aberdeen, or to any building connected with University of Old Aberdeen. In 1889, Wilson's Trustees authorised £300 for the purchase of books on archaeology and numismatics, with provision thereafter for £30 annual expenditure for acquisitions. In 1912 the Trustees handed the Collection over to the Library Committee with a proviso that the Committee would continue purchases.

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