Minute books of the New Speculative Society, 1872-1882.

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Minute Books of the New Speculative Society, Scotland, St Andrews Branch.

Volume I: 1872-1879, Volume II: 1879-1882. Constitution and rules stuck into flyleaf, giving objectives of the society, 'to promote and countenance freedom of thought, opinion, and criticism, on all speculative matters; to facilitate the interchange of ideas among thinkers; to encourage the unfettered expression of all well-matured convictions on subjects of science, philosophy, and theology; and to advance the interests of liberal education throughout the country'. List of members. Account of the founding of branch of the Society in St Andrews for the convenience of members in Fife and Forfarshire, to meet on a different night from the Edinburgh and Glasgow meetings, 1872. A note of the meetings of the society, business matters, the members present, and the titles of the papers read, including The pagan spirit, Is the supernatural verifiable on the basis of experience?, Dualism in thought and in existence, The doctrine of the inner light, How are satisfactory relations between employers and employed to be attained?, Some moral and religious aspects of (so-called) modern spiritualism, The regulation of traffic in intoxicating liquors.

Administrative / Biographical History

The New Speculative Society was founded in Edinburgh and Glasgow in 1868, to promote freethinking and discussion of philosophical and theological topics, with a meeting to be held every month in each city, at which a paper would be read and discussed. The St Andrews branch was added in 1872, and the Society divided into 3 geographic sections. There was also an apparently unrelated older Speculative Society, founded in Edinburgh in 1764 for graduates of Edinburgh University, with rooms in University Old College.

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Presented to the Library by Principal Knox, 6 August 1954.

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Binding, volume I: green morocco, volume II: black morocco.Paper: 16x20cm approx.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database.

Conditions Governing Use

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