Papers of John Johnstone, Printer and Publisher

Scope and Content

The papers are composed of correspondence with John Johnstone from Lindsay Alexander, J.H. Balfour, Lewis Balfour, James Begg, Andrew A. Bonar, Horatius Bonar, John J. Bonar, John Brown, Alexander Brunton, John Bruce, James Buchanan, Islay Burns, Robert S. Candlish, Thomas Chalmers, George Cook, Jean Henri Merle d'Aubigne, Alexander Duff, Emily Faithfull, Thomas Guthrie, William M. Hetherington, Robert Murray McCheyne, Thomas McCrie, Mackintosh Mackay, Thomas McLauchlan, Norman McLeod, Hugh Miller, Frederic Monod, Robert Rainy, Catherine Sinclair, Sir George Sinclair, William K. Tweedie, and a letter to Andrew Cameron from Robert Vaughan.

Administrative / Biographical History

The firm of John Johnstone, printer, publisher, bookbinder and bookseller, had been long established in Edinburgh, conducting business as early as 1796 in the city's High Street. The Scottish Book Trade Index records the printer at the office of Scots chronicle in Murdoch's Close in the High Street, then between 1803-1811 at Strichen's Close. From 1812 there was also a premises at 104 High Street, and from 1824 these were the premises of John Johnstone and Son. The following year, Buchanan's Court was a business address, with the printing office in Strichen's Close. By the 1830s and into the 1840s printing, publishing, and bookbinding was being carried out at 2 Hunter Square and at 104 High Street, and by 1846 bookselling at both Hunter Square and 15 Princes Street. In 1848 the High Street premises were those of Johnstone and Ballantyne and Company, and in 1850 of Johnstone and Hunter. Later on in the nineteenth century, premises at Melbourne Place (George IV Bridge) and at India Buildings, and then London Street, were recorded for Johnstone and Hunter.

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 Scottish Book Trade Index which represents an index of printers, publishers, booksellers, bookbinders, printmakers, stationers and papermakers based in Scotland, from the beginnings of Scottish printing to ca. 1850.

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

Other Finding Aids

Local lists.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.