Papers of James McLeod Wyllie

Scope and Content

GB 231 MS 2293 Typescript copy of Wyllie's Lexicon of Sallust in 4 volumes.

GB 231 MS 3126 Personal papers, publications, and unpublished works of James McLeod Wyllie, 1958 - 1970. The collection comprises copies of pamphlets in the Vision of Truth series (The Barras Seer, 1958 - 1967), including letter to members of the Classical Association concerning Wyllie's epic poem and additional loose sheets referring to its structure, 1959 and n.d. [N.B. The pamphlets in this collection form part of a series typed and duplicated, or printed by Wyllie at his own expense. Their circulation was primarily to members of the Classical Association.]; The Oxford Dictionary Slanders: the Greatest Scandal in the Whole History of Scholarship (1965); The Great Betrayal, or the Failure of Science, parts 1 and 2 (St Andrews, Guernsey: The Barras Seer, 1966 - 1977); parts 3 and 4 duplicated in typescript (1967 - 1977); duplicated copies of letters concerning Wyllie and the Clarendon Press sent by him to the Queen's Private Secretary, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Secretary, the Secretary to the Delegates of the Clarendon Press, Mr R.E. Alton, the Secretary of the Press Council, and the Prime Minister, 1967; Inter os atque offam . The evidence provided by the article ab of changes in the lexicography of the Oxford Latin Dictionary made since 1937 and 1953, selected to illustrate a ... communication for the ... Classical Association at Bangor, 1970; open letter to the Law Lords and to all M.P s concerning Wyllie's differences with Clarendon Press, 1976; article about Wyllie and his beliefs in Island Sun, 18 Aug 1968; letters from J.M. Wyllie to Professor W.S. Watt about his work, with an account of the early history of Bisset's bookshop in Aberdeen and other student memories, 1967 - 1970; advertisment for James G. Bisset Ltd., published to mark the opening of the High Street Branch, Old Aberdeen, c 1970.

Administrative / Biographical History

James McLeod Wyllie was born in Stonehaven and educated at Mackie Academy and the University of Aberdeen (MA first class honours Classics, 1928). He served on the staff of the Oxford English Dictionary from 1929, and of the Oxford Latin Dictionary, 1930 - 1954 (Assistant Editor, 1933, Joint Editor, 1939, Editor, 1949 - 1954). He considered that his dismissal from the editorship in 1954 was unjust, and his concern to publicise the differences between himself and the Clarendon Press inspired much of his writing. Afterwards, he taught Classics in various schools, including Guernsey Ladies College, c 1968 and in Greenock, c 1970. He married Anne Wilson, daughter of James Fraser of Aberdeen in 1931, and had 2 sons and 1 daughter. He died in a road accident on 8 Apr 1971.

See Who Was Who among English and European Authors, 1931-1949 : based on entries first appeared in The Author's and Writer's Who's Who&Reference Guide, originally compiled by Edward Martell and L.G. Pine, and in Who's Who among Living Authors of Older Nations, originally compiled by Alberta Lawrence, Gale composite biographical dictionary series, 2 (Detroit : Gale Research, c1978).


None observed

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

GB 231 MS 2293 gifted to the University in 1936 by Professor Souter, Department of Humanity, University of Aberdeen, on behalf of James M. Wyllie.

GB 231 MS 3126 gifted to the University in 1983, by Professor W.S. Watt, Department of Humanity, University of Aberdeen, 1952 - 1979 (from 1969, Vice-Principal)

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list for GB 231 MS 3126 available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail:

Very brief collection level descriptions 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.

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