Papers of Wallace Martin Lindsay

Scope and Content

These papers include correspondence with scholars worldwide on subjects including palaeography, translation, poetry, grammar, glosses, research work, publications and honours, as well as Lindsay's notes and inventories, offprints, proofs, reviews and articles, and facsimiles and photographs of documents.

ms41291-41495 comprises the correspondence (179 letters), of WM Lindsay with D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, 1895-1937, largely concerning their academic researches in different aspects of classical studies, and university affairs such as quincentenary in 1911.

Administrative / Biographical History

Wallace Martin Lindsay (1858-1937) was Professor of Humanity at St Andrews University, 1899 to 1937. He was a scholar of international repute, primarily in the classics and palaeography.

He was born in Pittenweem, Fife where his father was minister of the Free Church and was educated at Edinburgh Academy, Glasgow University, Balliol and the University of Leipzig. He came to the chair at St Andrews in 1899 after a year teaching in Harvard and nineteen years as a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. He received honorary degrees from Glasgow, Heidelberg, Dublin and Groning and was made FBA.

He was observant, methodical, patient, accurate and vastly industrious, working in Latin studies and as an authority in Palaeography. His monumental Latin Language (1894) was written before his arrival in St Andrews. His other publications include: Short Historical Latin Grammar (1895), Introduction to Latin Textual Emendation (1897), Contractions in Early Latin Minuscule Manuscripts (1908), Early Irish Minuscule Script (1910), Early Welsh Script (1912). He wrote the volumes of the Oxford Classical Texts series on Martial, Plautus, Isidore and Terence and those on Nonius Marcellus and Festus in the Teubner series. He wrote on Early Latin Verse and latterly focussed on Medieval Latin Glossaries. He corresponded with a wide circle of scholars world-wide on points of learning. His brother was Principal of the Free Church College in Glasgow. He lived in St Andrews with his sister. He was killed in a road traffic accident in St Andrews in 1937.

Source: 'Obituary' in Alumnus Chronicle, no. 21, pp. 17-19, and Who was Who, 1929-40 (London, 1941), p. 812.


Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

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 Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted.


Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copy list available for ms36326-36341. Remainder not listed in detail.

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.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 227 procedures.

Custodial History

Accessioned in 1971.