Papers of William Laughton Lorimer

Scope and Content

Lorimer's papers consist of notebooks, offprints and correspondence, including letters from many of the leading academic classicists of his day. The different elements of the collection are as follows:

  • msdep 4 5 boxes of notebooks
  • ms37094/1-131 Correspondence, 1887-1960
  • ms37095 Lorimer papers, Home Guard etc.
  • ms37096 Photographs of Greek manuscripts etc.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Laughton Lorimer (1885-1967) was born on 27 June 1885, a son of the Free Church manse of Mains and Strathmartine. He was educated at Dundee High School, Fettes College as a Foundation Scholar and as a Scholar at Trinity College, Oxford. He arrived in St Andrews as Assistant to Professor John Burnet in 1910 and acted as Lecturer in Greek, 1910-29. He was Reader in Latin at University College, Dundee, 1929-53 and pursued teaching and research until he was rewarded by his election as Professor of Greek at St Andrews University in 1953, a post which he held until his retirement in 1955. In 1953 he also became a Fellow of the British Academy.

He was a convinced Protestant and a fervent Scot and the favourite project of his last years was the translation of the New Testament into Scots. He was active in his support for the University Library and was chairman and contributor to The Scottish National Dictionary and a member of the Council of the Scottish History Society. He published, notably, Aristotelis qui fertur Libellus de Mundo (Paris, 1933) and Aristoteles Latinus xii.2 De Mundo (Rome, 1951).

Source: Alumnus Chronicle 59, (1968), pp. 4-5; Who's Who, 1954.


Correspondence is arranged in chronological order.

Access Information

By appointment with the Archivist. Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted. The material held as msdep4 was deposited for use by named academics.


Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Hard-copy list of ms37094/1-131, one box of correspondence only, remainder unlisted.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Custodial History

msdep4 was deposited by R.L.C. Lorimer for the use of named academics in 1967. ms37094-6 were given to the University by the son of W.L. Lorimer and accessioned in 1975.

Related Material

GB 227 holds other manuscripts relating to W.L. Lorimer which can be accessed through the general index. These include ms23717-38, ms25420; Lorimer's correspondence on classical and philological subjects with Sir D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, 1914-47.