This collection is a miscellaneous collection of correspondence and legal papers, principally relating to the Keiths of Ravelston, but also other branches of the Keith family, including the Earls Marischal. The subject matter relates mostly to general topics such as property, finances, and family affairs, but the context is often unclear, and further research on the family would be helpful in understanding the various relationships exhibited, and ultimately obtaining greater use from the collection. 40 of the documents are drafts of letters.
Properties mentioned in the records lie in Edinburgh (including certain lands in the region of the auld provostis cloisheid ), Stonehaven (Aberdeenshire), Olrig (Caithness), Dunnet (Caithness), and Lumgar (?Scottish Borders, previously Roxburghshire). In addition to the papers of several branches of the Keith family, a group of records relate to the affairs of James Logan (fl 1629 - 1647), minister of Smailholm, (Scottish Borders, previously Roxburghshire), later, Galtoun (Shropshire), and to William Symontoun, merchant burgess of Edinburgh (fl 1623 - c. 1643). Other items which are of interest, include an account of the design and condition in 1707, of the Scottish Regalia (49); an undated autograph letter by Sir Walter Scott, relating to the death of his mother, who was apparently tended in her last illness by Dr James Keith (74); an invitation to Sir Walter's funeral, written by his son to Dr. Keith (75); a letter concerning a visitation to be made to Marischal College, c 1619 by the Bishop of Aberdeen (130); reference to a libel against the masters and scholars of Marischal College (64); and a fragment from the Session records of the parish of Keithhall (Monkeggie) in Garioch (Aberdeenshire), 1669-1671, which is apparently the oldest surviving fragment of these records (77).