Papers relating to James Bowman Lindsay

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 254 MS 123
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 volume, 1 folder (0.05 linear metres) The records are on paper.

Scope and Content

Chinese-English dictionary, compiled by James Bowman Lindsay c.1830; "James Bowman Lindsay, Scientist and Philologer and other Pioneers of Invention" by A.H. Millar, c.1922; article from the [Portsmouth] Evening News re. Lindsay's experiments with transmarine telegraphy 1963.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Bowman Lindsay was born in 1799 at Carmyllie. As a child he was trained as a handloom weaver, but he educated himself at the same time. Recognising his potential, his parents saved up to send him to college and in 1821 he matriculated at St. Andrew's University. He was appointed Lecturer in Science and Mathematics at the Watt Institution in Dundee in 1829. From 1841 he taught at Dundee Prison, but resigned in 1858 after being granted an annual pension of 100 by the Prime Minister in recognition of his great learning and extraordinary attainments. He died in 1862.

Lindsey had many interests, including philology, astronomy, mathematics and science. He conducted much research into electricity and wireless telegraphy, particularly transmarine telegraphy by which the electric current was transmitted through and across water. From 1828 to his death he also worked on his Pentecontaglossal Dictionary, a dictionary of synonyms in 107 languages, and in 1858 he published his Chrono-Astrolabe, a set of astronomical tables intended to assist in fixing historical dates.


Records are arranged chronologically.

Access Information

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information



This collection was previously catalogued as MS 15/2.

Fonds level description compiled by Sarah Chubb, Archives Hub Project Archivist, September 2001.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list. Subject source lists and databases are also available.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges are made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply.

Custodial History



None expected.

Related Material

James Bowman Lindsay's Pentecontaglossal Dictionary is deposited at Dundee Central Library.


Millar, Alexander H, James Bowman Lindsay