Letters of Annie Shepherd Swan (1859-1943)

Scope and Content

Letters of Annie Shepherd Swan between 1892 and 1930 and undated, and cuttings of an article and a portrait photograph.

Administrative / Biographical History

The novelist Annie Shepherd Swan was born at Mountskip, Gorebridge, Midlothain, in 1859. She was educated at the Ladies' College in Edinburgh. Her writing career began with stories for children and with contributions to The Christian leader. Other work includes Ups and downs (1878), Aldersyde (1883) the romance which established her, Carlowrie (1884), The gates of Eden (1886), Across her path (1889), Who shall serve (1891) and A bitter debt (1893). Her latter novels were influenced by Scottish industrial life. Swan's literary career advanced when she moved to London in the early-1890s. There she contributed to women's magazines and wrote light romances. Swan married James Burnett-Smith. She was given the CBE in 1930. Latterly Annie Shepherd Swan (or Annie Burnett-Smith) lived at Gullane, East Lothian, and she died at Gorebridge, Midlothian, on 17 June 1943.

Access Information

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


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Keay, John. and Keay, Julia (eds.). Collins encyclopaedia of Scotland. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994. (2) Who was who 1941-1950. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1952.

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.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: correspondence and literary papers, for the location of these papers see, Location register of 20th century English literary MSS 1988; correspondence and papers, 1881-1943, National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. Acc 6003 NRA 29261 Smith; and, material among Robertson Nicoll collection, Aberdeen University, Special Libraries and Archives, Ref. AUL MS 3518.