Manuscripta juridica

[Principal Investigator: G. R. Dolezalek]

LOCATION = Edinburgh, NL Scotland

Edinburgh, NL Scotland = National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge Building, Edinburgh EH1 1EW, United Kingdom*

  • Online catalogues of MSS [The principal online catalogue mainly comprises items catalogued after the series of typewritten catalogues for definite numbers and for “Accession” numbers had come to standstill. Only few items in the online catalogue had already been described in the earlier catalogues]
  • Guide to Manuscript Collections, at present accessible under It contains twenty-six index lists for the letters of the alphabet. Each of these lists contains of alphabetically arranged keywords, followed by a shelfmark. Some shelfmarks can be clicked on, and specific information on the manuscript in question is then provided
  • National Library of Scotland. Catalogue of manuscripts acquired since 1925 [describes MSS with definite numbers. Vols. 1-8 are printed, Edinburgh: Trustees of the NLS, 1938-1992 = MSS 1-11000 and CH. 1-8970. Fully checked. Many documents, few literary MSS. One of the library's copies of vol. 1 is interleaved for handwritten updates. Each printed volume has its own index. There exists no cumulative index].

    Volumes 9-19 only exist in typescript A5 binders (up to MS.31049) in the Special Collections Reading Room. From MS.31050 onward there exists the Online catalogue. For some lower MS numbers the respective description has also been transferred to the online catalogue, and the respective leaves in the typewritten catalogue have been replaced by references to the online catalogue. Index to volume 9, in an A-4 binder. Index to volume 10, in an A-5 binder, and additions in a small sheaf binder. Indexes to volumes 11-15, in small sheaf binders. There exist no indexes to volumes 16-17. Index to vol. 18, in an A-4 binder

  • Cumulative index of for MSS with "Accession" numbers [in small binders, in the Special Collections Reading Room]
  • Inventories of uncatalogued Accessions [Many binders, shelved in the Special Collections Reading Room. The series has many gaps, for two reasons. Firstly, many respective manuscripts have in the mean time obtained a definite number. Secondly, the Inventories only aimed at surveying the large accessions which comprise more than one item, whereas no such need was felt for accessions comprising only one item, or few items. These smaller accessions can thus only be retrieved in the Cumulative index in small binders]
  • Catalogue for deposited MSS from the Advocates Library, with shelfmarks “Adv.MS.”: National Library of Scotland. Summary Catalogue of the Advocates' manuscripts. Edinburgh: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1971 [Arranged by subject matters. The introduction states on p. 2 in the last line that the summary catalogue includes “all” Advocates' manuscripts, except fragments from bindings. I have systematically checked all pertinent sections for MSS of law. A comparison to the “Folio catalogue” [see below] showed that the Summary catalogue does not simply repeat what was written in the Folio catalogue, but that it also supplies additional information, for many items. On the other hand, it also appears that some information of the Folio catalogue is omitted in the Summary catalogue]
  • Borland, Catherine: A Catalogue of the Medieval Manuscripts in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh. 3 vols. 1906-1908 [handwritten. To be requested from the librarians, shelfmark F.R.196a. Vol. 1 Theology 1.1.1-18.6.3; vol. 2 Law, History, Chartularies 10.1.4 - 34.7.2; vol. 3 Poetry and romance, Classics, Science 19.2.1 - 18.2.5; Addenda 18.4.2 - 81.4.21].
  • Draft Catalogue of Advocates' MSS [typewritten. Three binders with sheets which constitute a lacunous catalogue. Two copies are available for readers. One is less complete than the other
  • Advocates MSS inventories [various finding lists, typewritten. This is a folder, lying in a box - to be requested from the librarians.
  • The so-called “Folio Catalogue”, officially titled “Catalogues of MSS” [handwritten]. To be requested from the librarians, shelfmark F.R. 185. This catalogue consists of a series of volumes in-folio, 332 x 203 mm, written in the early 19th century, with some typewritten addenda from the 20th century. Divided into ten subject categories. Within each category the MSS are not arranged by shelfmarks but by subject matters. Vol. 2: Law. Leaves 169-194 have watermarks with year date 1821, and this provides a terminus post quem for the origin of the catalogue. This volume 2 serves also as an inventory of those manuscripts which are still owned by the Faculty of Advocates and merely deposited in the National Library. The Faculty of Advocates has therefore constituted a computer file in EXCEL format with converted data from this volume
  • Index to Folio Catalogues of Advocates MSS [typewritten]. Two volumes in-quarto, therefore known as “The Quarto-Catalogue”, shelved in the MSS catalogue room. Some entries cross-refer to specific pages of the “Folio catalogue”: e.g. “Law 147” refers to page 147 in volume 2 ( Law) of the Folio Catalogue, describing Adv.MS.81.7.1-19
  • Alphabetical Subject Catalogue of Advocates MSS [handwritten]. This is an index file of card slips in small binders, in the MSS catalogue room.
  • Shelf Catalogue of Advocates MSS [handwritten]. Six binders with file cards in shelfmark order, covering all existing shelfmarks. The contents of the respective MSS are only indicated very shortly, but many cards also contain cross-references to the respective volume and page of the “Folio Catalogue”. The shelf catalogue is not normally available for readers, but I was kindly allowed to peruse the binders 19.1.10 - 32.10
  • Concordance of previous shelfmarks of the Advocates collection with respective new definite MSS numbers in the National Library [handwritten]. Binders with altogether ca. 1300 file cards, covering MSS which previously belonged to the Advocates series but were later transferred into the general series of the Library, and were thus given definite MSS numbers. The Concordance is not normally available to readers.
  • Account of the Manuscripts in the Advocates Library at Edinburgh. Class I: Law ..., by William Anderson, Writer, a.1798 [handwritten]. To be requested from the librarians. Now shelfmark F.R.215, formerly Adv.MS.23.1.3. Comprises 199 leaves 343 x 210 mm. Binding of the early 19th century, in marble paper on cardboard, with leather spine. Contents of MSS are given in great detail. Yet, the catalogue describes only a fraction of the volumes which are extant at the present time. Reference is only made to old shelfmarks which are outdated long since, but the librarians have a Concordance of old and new Advocates' Press Marks [shelfmark F.R. 197]. A loosely inserted bifolium supplies an alphabetical index.
  • A Catalogue of the Library of the Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh, part the first 1742 [printed]. Covers both, MSS and also printed literature.
  • Catalogue of MSS, by John Spottiswoode, Keeper of the Library of the Faculty of Advocates, 1702 [handwritten]. To be requested from the librarians. Shelf mark F.R.. 212 B [Not seen].
  • Inventories of other series of MSS deposited in the National Library [typewritten]. Kept in binders in the Special Collections Reading Room.
  • Estate Papers [typewritten]. Inventory in a box titled “Subject and miscellaneous lists”, in the Special Collections Reading Room. It comprises manuscripts from both series “Deposited” and “Accessions”.
  • Index Balcarres papers [typewritten and handwritten. Two small binders, listing accessions from the family archive of the Earls of Crawford and Balcarres (Chiefs of Clan Lindsay)]
  • D. B. Walters, Civilian Manuscripts in the Advocates' Library (National Library of Scotland), Edinburgh in: ZRG RA 89(1972) 376-378 [5 MSS from times before 1600]. [Fully checked]