Papers of Andrew McKay (fl 1781 - 1804), mathematician

Scope and Content

Astronomical observations made in the Observatory at Aberdeen, by Andrew McKay, 1785 - 1791.Patrick Copland (1749 - 1822), Professor of Natural Philosophy at Marischal College, Aberdeen, was instrumental in securing the building of the Observatory, on land granted by Aberdeen Town Council. The site was requisitioned by the Government, in 1795, for a powder magazine.

Administrative / Biographical History

Andrew McKay (LLD Marischal College, Aberdeen, 1786), was keeper of Aberdeen's first Observatory, on Castlehill, from it's completion in 1781 until it's removal from the site in 1795. His calculations on the latitude and longitude of Aberdeen were published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 4, (1792), 135 - 161. He was an examiner in mathematics to the East India Company in 1804, and author of several works on navigation.


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Acquisition Information

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Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description 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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Related Material

Papers relating to the building of Aberdeen Observatory are contained in the institutional archive of Marischal College (GB 231 MS M 1 - 407), and minutes of Aberdeen Town Council, 3 Feb 1781 (Aberdeen City Archives).

Papers of Patrick Copland (1749 - 1822), Professor of Natural Philosophy at Marischal College, Aberdeen, are also deposited in the University. A separate collection level description is available on the Archives Hub.


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Additional Information

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