Lectures and Papers of Professor Alexander Campbell Fraser (1819-1914)

Scope and Content

The collection consists of: letters from Fraser, one simply accepting an invitation to dinner, and another thanking Miss Bell for letters and sketches which 'give a very lively as well as correct idea of the country and manners', at Gen. 2040/42-43; notebooks containing lectures on logic and metaphysics, 1880-1881, at Gen. 2057-2058; notes of lectures on logic and psychology, 1881, at Gen. 2073/1; lectures on logic and psychology, 1885-1886, at Gen. 1902; lectures on logic and metaphysics, 1881-1882, at Dc.5.103-105; notes on Berkeley, circa 1880, at Dc.5.79; notes on Leibnitz and David Hume, 1869-1870, at Dc.5.80 and a copy of Hume's Inquiry concerning human understanding, 1863, at Dc.5.82; and, 1829 and 1832 editions of Locke's Essay concerning human understanding at Dc.5.83-87. There are also: programmes of work for classes in logic, psychology and metaphysics at the University, 1889-1891, at Dc.5.81; and, letters from Campbell to Baroness Blaze de Bury, 1856-1858, and letters to the Librarian, 1900, and the Rev. John Hunter, Rosewall, 1901, at Dc.4.101 Fraser. There are also: letters to cousin, 1857-1864, at Mic.M.792; letters of invitation, 1867 and 1868, and a certificate, 1875, at Gen. 1790, nos. 29-31; letter to Sir W. Muir, 1891, Dk.2.14, p.40; letters to H. Barker, 1904, 1909, at Dc.6.118/1; page proofs of Fraser's 1894 edition of Locke's Essay concerning human understanding. Also 2 letters dated 1871, at E95.30.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Campbell Fraser was born at the Manse in Ardchattan, Argyllshire, 3 September 1819. He was the son of the Rev. Hugh Fraser of Ardchattan. Fraser was educated and home and then studied at Edinburgh University. He became Professor of Logic at New College, Edinburgh, in 1846, and held the Chair until 1856 when he became Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at Edinburgh University in succession to Professor Sir William Hamilton (1788-1856). Fraser was the Gifford Lecturer on Natural Theology at Edinburgh University, 1894-1896, in succession to Professor Otto Pfleiderer (1839-1908) of Berlin. His publications include Essays in philosophy (1856), Life and letters of George Berkeley, D.D. (1871), Philosophy of theism: being the Gifford lectures delivered before the University of Edinburgh in 1894-96 (1895-1896), Thomas Reid (1898), and Berkeley (1909). Between 1850 and 1857, he was editor of the North British Review. Fraser retired from his Chair at Edinburgh University in 1891. Professor Alexander Campbell Fraser died on 2 December 1914.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Page proofs of a Fraser edition of a Locke work, presented by Mrs. Henry Barker, 1950. Lectures taken down by C. C. Easterbrook purchased June 1972, Accession no. E72.26. Lectures taken down by E. M. Macphail purchased May 1978 from J. G. Stewart Macphail, Haddington, Accession no. E78.15. Letters dated 1871 purchased 1995, Accession no. E95.30


The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) Who was who. A companion to Who's who ... 1897-1916. London: A. and C. Black, 1920.

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.

Related Material

The local Indexes show other miscellaneous references to Fraser related material (check the Indexes for more details): letter to unnamed correspondent, 1906, at Gen. 1733/101; letters, 1871, at E95.30; testimonial; portrait photograph in copy of Quasi Cursores in JY 1202; and, certificate signed by Fraser. In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: correspondence and papers, 1830-1913, at the National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. Dep 208 NRA 27273 Fraser, as well as correspondence with Blackwoods, 1881-1898, at Ref. MSS 4418-4717 passim., and notes on lectures, 1881, at Ref. MSS 6656 Passim.

Corporate Names