Aberdeen Diocesan Library manuscript volumes

Scope and Content

This mixed collection comprises manuscript volumes extracted from Aberdeen Diocesan Library. It includes minutes of the Aberdeen Clerical Association, 1858-1907; several volumes of sermons, c 1692 - c 1860, including some by the Right Rev. Alexander Jolly, Bishop of Moray (1758-1838); an Index to Sermons preached in St. Andrews Chapel Aberdeen, 1795-1816; notes and transcripts on various theological issues, including a 480-page volume entitled 'Purgatory', 1850, and a 96-page volume containing descriptions of Jewish ceremonies, n.d.; a 200 page volume containing hymns and psalms set to music, 1863; along with earlier theological material, volumes of lecture notes on philosophy and mathematics, and other miscellaneous items. Miscellaneous items in the collection include a Fishing Book, containing records of salmon fishing on the River Don, 1773 - 1793; James Finlay's Musick Book, c 1800; a 38-page volume containing accounts of travels in Spain, 1790; and Bibliotheca Curiosa: a Catalogue of Curious and Rare Books, n.d.

The minutes of Aberdeen Clerical Association, 1858 - 1907 described here bridge a gap in the Association's minutes deposited in GB 231 MS 3320 (see Related Units of Description, below).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Scottish Episcopal Church has common roots with the other Scottish churches going back to at least the 4th century AD. It became a non-established autonomous church in 1690, formed by those who refused to accept the Revolution Settlement, when the Church of Scotland was established as Presbyterian without bishops. In the North East episcoplianism retained considerable support, with one third of all Episcopal clergy in Scotland in the Diocese of Aberdeen in 1784. During the 18th century the Church suffered because of its continuing support for the Stuart dynasty/ Jacobite cause. Nevertheless it revised its Scottish liturgy and administration and retained a distinct spirituality. It is part of the world-wide Anglican Communion, and consecrated the first bishop for the United States of America in Aberdeen in 1784.

The Scottish Episcopal Dioceses of Aberdeen and Orkney were united in 1865 to form the united Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney. Its geographic extent covers Orkney, Shetland, Aberdeen, and parts - though not all - of the old counties of Aberdeenshire, Banffshire and Kincardineshire.

This information has been extracted from David M. Bertie, Scottish Episcopal Clergy 1689-2000, (Edinburgh: Clarke, 2000). Further details about the history of the Diocese and individual churches is contained therein.


None observed - summary list only

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

See Custodial History, above.

Other Finding Aids

Summary descriptive list available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives, University of Aberdeen.

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/library/

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: speclib@abdn.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Custodial History

Marks of provenance indicate that the Diocesan Library was built up from the 16th century by clergy and others in the Diocese. Discussions between the Diocesan Librarian, F.C. Eeles, and the University Librarian, P.J. Anderson, resulted in an agreement in 1911 to the permanent loan of the Aberdeen Diocesan Library to Aberdeen University Library, and some of the rarer items were transferred soon afterwards. It was not until 1926 that the University Library was able to accommodate the main part of the Diocesan Library, which had been housed meanwhile in various locations. The manuscript volumes described here were extracted from the main library of printed books in 1997-98. They include some volumes donated by F.C. Eeles and 6 volumes of sermons donated by the Rev. James B. Craven, Archdeacon of Orkney.


No accruals expected

Related Material

Diocesan and parish records The Aberdeen Diocesan Library (printed books) is deposited in the University's Special Libraries and Archives (ref. DL). Related correspondence in the papers of F.C. Eeles, 1911 - 1931 (ref. GB 231 MSU 602).

Records of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, 1600 - 1980 (ref. GB231 MS 3320). Comprising diocesan records, records of St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen, and records of 49 local churches in the Diocese.

Records of St. Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen, 1730-1974 (ref. GB 231 MS 3499). Includes church registers (including baptism, marriage and burial) and other early records, which were absent from the St Andrew's Cathedral records deposited in GB 231 MS 3320.

Lonmay Episcopal Church registers, 1727 - 1854 (transcripts) (ref. GB 231 MS 2748)

Peterhead Episcopal Church baptism registers, 1738 - 1788 (transcripts) (ref. GB 231 MS 2749)

Inventory of St Peter's Episcopal Church, Fraserburgh, c 1963 (ref. GB 231 MS 2450)

Sermons preached at the Scottish Episcopal Churches at Meikelfolla, Macterry, Tillydesk, Chapelhall, Kinharrachy, Old Meldrum, Banff, Portsoy, Ellon, Turriff, Lonmay, Crichy, Parkdargue, 1774-1862 (ref. GB 231 MS 3504).

Photographic printer's blocks of churches, officials and occasions in the Scottish Episcopal Church Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, with corner stone of ancient altar at Lonmay, undated (ref. GB 231 MS 3533).

Personal papers of individuals associated with the church Personal papers of F. C. Eeles, regarding the Episcopal Church in Scotland, 1862 - 1863 (ref. GB 231 MS 2507)

Personal papers of Reverend James B. Craven (1850 - 1924), Archdeacon of Orkney (ref. GB 231 MS 0894 - 0896; GB 231 MS 2150 - 2156; GB 231 MS 2197). These deposits contain Reverend Craven's antiquarian and genealogical research notes, as well as papers relating to his extensive research and several publications on the history of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Episcopal Church in Scotland and Dr Henderson: letters and papers by a lay Episcopalian, Aberdeen, 1831 (ref. GB231 MS 2180)

Other records Episcopal Church in Scotland: Canons and Constitutions ecclesiastical, gathered and put in form for the church of Scotland, 1636 (transcript) ref. GB 231 MS 904)

Episcopal Church in Scotland: A Shorter Catechism, 1726 (ref. GB 231 MS 2074)

Full reference details available on the Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/library/


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Additional Information

This material is original