Hay Fleming Reference Collection (photographs and illustrations)

Scope and Content

There are a number of different series within the collection: Albums: (including Valentine Photographic view albums of: Leuchars and district; Campbeltown and neighbourhood; Hill and Adamson, Calotype Views of St Andrews, (1846); HB Farnie, The City of St Rule with calotypes by Thomas Rodger (ca. 1860); The Kingdom of Fife, calotypes by Thomas Rodger); magic lantern slides, 1887-1894; images of people, 1882-1935 and 1770-1920; postcards of St Andrews and other places, 1898-1970s; photographs of St Andrews, ca. 1850-ca. 1970; places, C17th-1938; World War 1 official press photographs, 1914-1918; objects, 1622-1911; etchings of St Andrews; Miscellaneous sketches photographs and plans from St Andrews and the eastern region of Scotland, various dates; Assorted illustrations and photographs, cuttings from periodicals.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Hay Fleming (1849-1931) was born in St Andrews on 9 May 1849. He studied at Madras College and then engaged in business until he retired in 1883 to devote himself to the study of Scottish history. In 1904-06 he was lecturer on Church History in New College, Edinburgh. In theology he was an old school Presbyterian and a staunch Calvinist. He was author of works including: The Martyrs and Confessors of St Andrews (Cupar, 1887), Mary Queen of Scots from her birth to her flight into England, (London, 1897), The Scottish Reformation (Edinburgh 1903) and The Story of the Scottish Covenants in Outline (1904). He served as Secretary of the Scottish History Society and Honorary Curator of the St Andrews Cathedral museum. His Guidebook to St Andrews, published in 1881, was held as the standard text on the subject for many years. For this and other work he received an honorary LLD degree from the University of St Andrews in 1898. As an independent scholar and eminent local historian and antiquary he accumulated a voluminous library of around 13000 books, a collection of manuscripts and personal papers which was left to St Andrews on his death with a bequest to endow a reference library at St Andrews.


The arrangement reflects the way in which the material was held before deposit in the University Library although the albums have been transferred into the General Album or Valentine General Album sequences.

Access Information

The photographic collections are currently the subject of a major digitisation project. It is the intention to have the entire archive captured in electronic form, and available (with sophisticated searching facilities) on line via the web. A full version of the software can be accessed in the Library and researchers are welcome to visit the library to use it but it is important that appointments are made in advance. Access to original photographic material may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Trustees of the Hay Fleming Reference Library, St Andrews.


Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives HUB Project Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Hand lists are available.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies of images held in the photographic collection (with the exception of any photographs which are held either without copyright or under other restrictions imposed by the donor or photographer) can be ordered. Photographs thus provided for purely personal or research purposes are not subject to any fee beyond the photographic costs (for which a scale of charges is available). Prior written permission must be obtained before any further reproduction is undertaken of images supplied, for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Reproduction fees may be charged.

True photographic reprints of most images can be provided, or computer-generated prints of an increasing proportion of the collection at low, medium or high resolution. Given the fragility of the original material our preference is to provide computer prints where possible. We can also provide transparencies and a range of electronic formats.

Custodial History

Collection transferred to the custody of the Library in 2000 along with Hay Fleming's collection of books and manuscripts.


The bequest continues to be used to continue to expand the collection.

Related Material

GB 227 also houses other elements of the Hay Fleming Reference Collection: a manuscript collection and library of local and rare books, both of which are currently being accessioned and catalogued.


G Smith, "'Calotype views of St Andrews' by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson", in History of Photography, vol. 7, no. 3, 1983, pp. 207-36.

Additional Information

Some of the material was lost during previous periods on open public access.

Geographical Names