|Collection||GB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections|
|Ref No||MS 2148|
|Title||Alexander Keith, journalist, author, farmer, broadcaster and historian: ballads and recollections of Aberdeen|
|Date||17th century - 20th century|
|Extent||1 folder, 5 items and 1 envelope: 0.02 linear metres|
|Creator Name||Alexander Keith (1895 -1973), journalist, author, farmer, broadcaster and historian |
|Administrative History||Alexander Keith graduated from the University of Aberdeen, MA 1916, and worked as a journalist and assistant editor with Aberdeen Journals Ltd. from 1917 - 1944. In 1943 he purchased a farm at Eigie, Balmeddie, Aberdeenshire, and became Secretary to the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society, a post which he held until 1955. |
His publishing career began in the early 1920s, with titles relating to the lives and works of notable Aberdeenshire ballad collectors, Gavin Greig, Bruce Duncan and their associates: Mine Honourable Friends: Essays and Odd Papers (Aberdeen: Wyllie, 1922); Gavin Greig and his Work (Aberdeen: Wyllie, 1924); Gavin Greig, Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads and Ballad Airs collected in Aberdeenshire , ed. by Alexander Keith, Aberdeen University Studies, 100 (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University, 1925); William Walker, Book-lover , The Aberdeen Book-lover, 7 (1932), 29-34); Songs of the Northeast: a Pocket-book of Memories (Aberdeen: Aberdeen Journals for the Sit Siccar Club, 1940). Subsequent works on the history of local businesses, individuals and agriculture, contributed to his growing reputation as a prominent local historian and author, and in 1967 his contribution to the literature of the North-east was formally marked by the award of LL D from the University of Aberdeen. He is perhaps best known for A Thousand Years of Aberdeen (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1972); and Eminent Aberdonians , (Aberdeen: Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, 1984), which was published posthumously from articles originally appearing in Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce: Journal.
For details of his life and works see Aberdeen University Review , 48 (1979), 103; Harold Watt, Alexander Keith: a Bibliography , Aberdeen University Review , 48 (1979), 61-67; I.B.D. Bryce and C. Graham, Alexander Keith: a Valediction , The Leopard , 44 (1978), 23-25; Dorothy B. Johnston, The Letters and Papers of Dr. Alexander J. Keith, AUL MS 3017 , Northern Scotland , 4 (1981), 127;. D.G. Gordon, Alexander Keith, M.A., LL.D. in Bennachie Again , ed. by Archie W. M. Whitely (n.p: Bailies of Bennachie, 1983), pp. 182-86.
|Custodial History||The papers in MS 2148 were compiled by Alexander Keith before his retirement from Aberdeen Journals Ltd., in 1944. MS 2148/2 (copy of ballad, The Battle of Glenlivet. Foughten by the Earls of Huntlie and Errol against Argyle. Printed Anno 1681 made by A.S. Ramsay, c 1909, from version in Magdalene College, Cambridge (Pepysian Library No. 258 (4)) may have come into his possession from the papers of Gavin Greig, whose Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads and Ballad Airs he edited in 1925 (see Administrative History, above). |
|Source||This collection of manuscripts was presented to Aberdeen University Library by Alexander Keith (b. 1895), M.A., (Aberdeen 1916) c.1950 and were apparently acquired by him before his retirement from the staff of Aberdeen Journals Limited in 1944, after 27 years as journalist and assistant editor. MS 2148/2 may have come into his possession from the papers of Gavin Greig, whose 'Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads' and 'Ballad Airs' Keith edited in 1925.|
|Description||Small collection of traditional ballads, tales and reminiscences, compiled by Alexander Keith (1895 - 1978) prior to 1944. The collection comprises fragments of manuscript, Ane Godly Ballad , by Barbara Fraser, n.d. [17th c]; copy of ballad, The Battle of Glenlivet. Foughten by the Earls of Huntlie and Errol against Argyle. Printed Anno 1681 made by A.S. Ramsay, c 1909, from version in Magdalene College, Cambridge (Pepysian Library No. 258 (4)); manuscript, Windy Wednesday , n.d.; manuscript, Memories of Aberdeen , by George Murray Kaye, of Dennistoun, Glasgow, c 1899; and manuscript, Old Stories Retold - Peter Young, the Jack Shepphard of Aberdeenshire. Daring Escapes from Prison , n.d. |
|Appraisal||This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures.|
|Access Conditions||The records are available subject to the signed acceptance of the Department's access conditions.|
|Copyright||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 University Archivist 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. |
|Physical Description||One manuscript (MS 2148/1) is in an advanced state of decay and cannot at present be examined. The entry in the list is taken from an inscription on the envelope in which the fragments are contained.|
|Related Material||Papers of and relating to William Walker (1840 - 1931), ballad collector, writer, book collector (GB 231 MS 2212; GB 231 MS 2306; GB 231 MS 2732; GB 231 MS 2733; GB 231 MS 2774; GB 231 MS 3396; GB 231 MS 3643). |
Papers of John Stuart (1751 - 1827), Professor of Greek, Marischal College, Aberdeen, (GB 231 MS M 0221; GB 231 MS 0365 and GB 231 MS 3141).
The Keith Collection (ref. KE). This collection of c. 4000 printed books, accumulated by Alexander Keith, 1910-1970s, covers a wide range of subjects including Scottish political, military and ecclesiastical history; nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature with a substantial collection of detective fiction; European literature, mainly nineteenth-century French and Russian novels; folklore and ballads; printing; agriculture (cattle rearing); art; gardening and banking. Publications in the collection date from 1770-1970.
|Publication Note||See Harold Watt, Alexander Keith: a Bibliography , Aberdeen University Review , 48 (1979), 61-67 |