Manuscripts from the personal library of David Murray, 1842-1928, lawyer, archaeologist and antiquary

Scope and Content

David Murray collected a wide number of manuscripts of a varying nature. These number some 1200 documents and include:

  • Lecture notes on law, mathematics, medicine, science, philosophy, religion, logic, ethics and religion collected or made by David Murray 18th century-19th century
  • Papers relating to William James Duncan (fl1834-1836) historian and bank manager
  • Miscellaneous commonplace books and household account books 17th century-18th century
  • Papers relating to the Foulis Press and Glasgow Academy of Arts 1753-1809
  • Papers relating to the Paul Colnaghi (1751-1833) print dealer early 19th century
  • Papers relating to John Stirling (1954-1777) Principal of the University of Glasgow early 19th century
  • Correspondence relating to legal court cases early 18th century

Administrative / Biographical History

David Murray was born in 1842  in Glasgow, Scotland. He was educated at Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland and at the University of Glasgow before becoming a solicitor. He was Dean of the Faculty of Procurators of Glasgow between 1895 and 1898  and President of the Archaeological Society of Glasgow between 1895 and 1898 . He was Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries 1900-1903 , President of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow 1904-1907 and President of the Glasgow Bibliographical Society 1912-1913 . A member of the University Court of the University of Glasgow, his published writings include works relating to the history of the University of Glasgow, legal matters, archaeology and ancient monuments. He died in 1928 .

Source: Who was Who 1916-1928 (A & C Black Ltd: London, 1929)


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Gift : David Murray : 1927 : ACCN 0001

Gift : David Murray : 1923 : ACCN 1518

Gift : David Murray : ACCN 1670

Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at  searching by the call number MS Murray

Published items from the collection have been incorporated into the Glasgow University Library catalogue at

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)0541) and London (NRA)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 21 March 2002

No alterations made to date

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Special Collections

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History

Held by David Murray. Originally accessioned as 1-352.


None expected

Related Material

Along with the manuscript collection, the library of MS Murray was also deposited. The contents of the library of David Murray include some 15,000 printed books, containing over 23,000 items, and some 200 manuscripts. A superb regional history collection with a wealth of 17th- and 18th-century Glasgow imprints, especially the products of the presses of Robert Sanders, the Foulis brothers, and Robert Urie. 19th-century strengths include materials on the economic and social development of the West of Scotland (e.g. works on banking, railways, canals and ports), publications relating to the administration of the city of Glasgow and its University, engraved topographical works, maps, Scottish newspapers, directories and periodicals. There is a particular abundance of printed ephemera: broadsides, street literature, chapbooks, advertisements and files of newspaper cuttings.

In addition to his local collections, which he aimed to make as complete as possible, Murray also collected extensively in other areas: early legal texts, school-books, early books on accounting, catalogues of book sales and libraries, lists of curiosities and rarities and other works relating to the history of private and public museums. Murray's magpie instincts also resulted in his acquisition of several hundred 16th-century continental imprints, as well as 22 incunabula.


A Bibliogrpahy of pre-1900 education-related materials in Glasgow University Library David Hamilton et al(Glasgow, 1983) The first section lists 829 items from the Murray collection.

John N Moore, 73'Early printed country maps of Scotland in Glasgow University Library'The College Courant (1984) pp16-27

Corporate Names

Geographical Names