Letters of Jeanie Robertson (1908-1975)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection is largely composed of circa 160 letters from Robertson to the poet Hamish Henderson (1919-2002). It also contains her equity card and a recording contract.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Scottish traditional folk singer Jeanie Robertson was born in 1908. She was from a travelling family from the North East of Scotland. Robertson sang in the old style having learned most of her songs through the oral tradition of her family. Her singing was featured on the 1959 LP Jeanie Robertson, The Great Traditional Ballad Singer. Her mother was Marie Stewart from Ballater a small town on rural Deeside, Aberdeenshire, and with the Robertsons on her fathers side she was part of two old travelling dynasties. Widely regarded as a seminal figure in music culture of Scotland's travelling people Jeanie was a contemporary of Jimmy McBeth, Belle Stewart and Flora MacNeil. In recognition of her services to traditional music she was awarded the MBE in 1968. Jeanie Robertson died on 13 March 1975.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Acquisition Information

Material acquired from H. Henderson, School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh University, December 1989, Accession no. E89.92

Note

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Jeanie Robertson. Full-text [online].  Jeanie Robertson. Traditional Scottish ballad singer [Accessed 5 November 2003].

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.

Accruals

Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.