Papers of Edward Richard Alston (1845-1881)

Scope and Content

The papers of Edward Richard Alston consist of his contributions to various zoological journals, and manuscript notes on the mammals and reptiles of Sutherland. There are, for example, early letters to The Field, 1858-1860, contributions to The Zoologist, 1860-1870, and to Ibis. In addition to the notes, the volumes contain colour plates.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edward Richard Alston, zoologist, was born at Stockbriggs, near Lesmahagow, on 1 December 1845. He was chiefly educated at home and made early contributions to the Zoologist and other magazines. Becoming an authority on birds and mammals, some of his papers on rodents and American squirrels were published in Proceedings of the Zoological Society in the 1870s. In 1880, Alston was elected Zoological Secretary of the Linnean Society. Edward Richard Alston died on 7 March 1881.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.


The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) Stephen, Leslie. and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol.1. Abbadie-Beadon. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1908.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: anthropological notes relating to Barna Isle and Lesmahagow, 1867-1868, at Bristol University Library, Ref. DM2 NRA 28242 Beddoe.