Edmund Crosby Quiggin: Correspondence and Papers

Scope and Content

The collection comprises correspondence, articles and similar items. The bulk of it consists of approximately 40 letters to Quiggin and to his wife Alison (ne Hingston, m.1907), approximately 110 sheets of notes relating to publications, 19 offprints of articles by Quiggin and others, and 10 reviews of his work.

A. Letters to E.C. Quiggin, mosty from Elizabeth Knott, Jan. 1904 - Oct. 1919, 24 items.

B. Posthumous correspondence concerning E.C. Quiggin, addressed mainly to Alison Quiggin, and mostly from J .Fraser, May 1920 - Oct. 1939, 17 items.

C. Notes, cuttings and other papers, 12 items.

D. Articles, reviews and related items, comprising 8 articles by Quiggin, 6 by others, 5 unidentified, 10 newspapers reviews, and 4 related items, 1906-1937. Mainly in English, but some in Gaelic, French and Latin.

E. Obituaries and related items.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edmund Crosby Quiggin (1875-1920) was born on 23 August 1875 in Cheadle, Staffordshire. He attended Kingswood School in Bath and later read Modern and Medieval Languages at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, marticulating in 1893 and graduating with first-class honours. Whilst at Caius his interest in Celtic was fuelled by C.H. Munro, an Irish-speaking law fellow.

In October 1898 he became English Lector at the University of Greifswald and completed a doctorate on the 'Book of Leinster' version of Tin B Cuailnge. Quiggin returned to Cambridge in 1901, but between June 1903 and January 1906 he stayed in a district of Donegal, familiarising himself with the dialect. This led to the publication of A Dialect of Donegal, being the speech of Meenawannia in the parish of Glenties: Phonology and Texts (C.U.P., 1906). His reputation as a Celtic scholar then grew and in 1909 Caius College created the Monro Lectureship in Celtic for him, the first of its kind.

From 1915 to 1919 Quiggin was involved in war service, first in Boulogne and then in the Intelligence Division of the Admiralty. In 1919 he was twice allowed to return to his duties at the University of Cambridge, but, his health failing, he died on 4 January 1920.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Some of the papers were purchased from a Belfast bookseller in April 1970; the remainder were represented to Cambridge University Library by Paul Quiggin, E.C. Quiggin's son, 1994.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.


Further details on Quiggin's life can be found in David N. Dumville's introduction to Quiggin Pamphlets on the Sources of Mediaeval Gaelic History 1 (Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, Cambridge, 1994).