Correspondence of Professor Philip Kelland (1808-1879)

Scope and Content

The correspondence consists of letters relating to the Aesthetic Club, mostly to D. R. Hay, and a separate letter about visiting a museum.

Administrative / Biographical History

Philip Kelland was born in Dunster, Somerset, in 1808. He studied at Queens' College, Cambridge, graduating with a BA in 1834, and MA in 1837. He was appointed Professor of Mathematics and Edinburgh University in 1838. The first Englishman educated entirely in England to be appointed to a Chair at the University, he came to identify himself completely with the Scottish university system and actively participated in the movement for reform of that system. In 1839 he became a Fellow of Royal Society of Edinburgh and in 1852 he was chosen as a member of the Society of Arts of Edinburgh. In addition to his devotion to pure mathematics, Kelland wrote in the physical sciences - on the motion of waves in canals, and on optics. His publications include Memoir on the limits of our knowledge respecting the theory of parallels, Theory of heat (1837), The elements of algebra (1839), The Scottish university system suited to the people (1854), Elements of geometry (1859), The Scottish school system suited to the people (1870), and Lessons on physics (1872). Philip Kelland died at Bridge of Allan on 7 May 1879.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Single letter, purchased March 1971, Accession no. E71.7.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 10. Howard-Kenneth. 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.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show a reference to Kelland related material (check the Indexes for more details): letters to D. Laing, 1865, at La.IV.17. In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: correspondence with James David Forbes, St. Andrews University Library, NRA 13132 Forbes.