Papers of Walter and Muriel Keir.

Scope and Content

GB 231 MS 3489 A small collection of Walter Keir's personal papers, comprising correspondence from C.M. Greive, alias Hugh MacDiarmid (1892 - 1978); miscellaneous articles written by Walter Keir; BBC talks given by him; a copy of his c.v.; and other miscellaneous papers.

Walter Keir contributed the article hugh macdiarmid to The Novel Today: programme&notes, International Writers' Conference, Edinburgh International Festival 1962, ed. by Andrew Hook (Edinburgh: International Writers' Conference, 1962), pp.31-34. He also compiled an unpublished biography of Hugh MacDiarmid, c 1962. A copy is deposited in the University library (ref. X 809.3 Nov).

GB 231 MS 3635 A small collection of Walter and Muriel Keir's personal papers, comprising literary correspondence sent to Walter Keir; photographs of literary figures, including Norman MacCaig and others; and a miscellaneous collection of poems and prose by Muriel Keir. The papers have not been fully listed, but the date coverage established is approximately 1940s - 1960s. Individuals represented in the correspondence include George Mackay Brown, Norman MacCaig, Douglas Young, Hugh McDiarmid (C.M. Greive), E.M. Forster, James Burns Singer, Iain Crichton Smith, David Daiches, Ian Grimble, Arthur Crook, Sydney Goodsir Smith, Duncan Glen, Menu Oxford Majilis (Eugene Black, then head of the World Bank), Furbank, and Renwick.

Administrative / Biographical History

Walter Alexander Stewart Keir was born in Aberdeen on 16 Sept 1920, son of Alexander Keir (MA Abdn, 1905), Director of Education with the Malayan Education Service at Sarawak, and Alice E. Keir (nee Stewart, MA Abdn, 1909). He served in the Indian army from 1940 - 1945, and after the War matriculated at the University of Aberdeen, from where he graduated MA 1947. He continued his studies at Oxford, graduating BLitt in 1949, then returned to Aberdeen for a lecturing post in the Department of English, where he remained until his retirement in 1980. He married Muriel E. Lyon, daughter of Major Alexander Lyon D.S.O. in 1948.


None observed - listing in process

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

GB 231 MS 3489 deposited in the University in Oct 1995 by Muriel E. Keir. GB 231 MS 3489 deposited in the University in Oct 1995 by Muriel E. Keir. GB 231 MS 3665 deposited in Sept 2000 by Alan Wallace, cousin of the late Muriel Keir.

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

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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: 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

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Related Material

Personal papers of many well-known 20th century literary figures associated with the North-east of Scotland are deposited in this repository. These include Marion Angus, Olive Fraser, Cuthbert Graham, George Campbell Hay, Sorley Maclean, James Leslie Mitchell (alias Lewis Grassic Gibbon), Nan Shepherd, Iain Crichton Smith, Rachel Annand Taylor, and David Toulmin. Very brief collection level descriptions available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online


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Additional Information

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