|Administrative History||Francis Carney Diack was born in Aberdeen in 1865. He was educated in Banchory and Aberdeen, graduating from the University of Aberdeen, MA 1887. He taught for a short time after graduation, before being appointed in 1892, as Assistant in the University Library and the Department of English, posts which he resigned in 1898, due to ill-health. He developed an interest in Scottish Gaelic, and through extensive and thorough field work became an authority upon the origin and development of Gaelic place names in the North East Highlands, contributing 2 articles on The Toponomy of Pictland to the Revue Celtique , (1921 - 1924), with other articles published in the Transactions of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries , Scottish Gaelic Studies and the local press. He was precise and meticulous in his work, and, on account of his scholarly caution, only a fraction of this research appeared in print during his lifetime. After his death, the Third Spalding Club redressed the balance with the publication of The inscriptions of Pictland: an essay on the sculptured and inscribed stones of the north-east and north of Scotland, with other writings and collections, edited by William M. Alexander and John MacDonald (Aberdeen: Third Spalding Club, 1944), which is comprehensive in its coverage of his work on the inscribed stones of Scotland, and also contains much of the substance of his place name collections. He died at Banchory, in Sept 1939. |
For an appreciation of his life and works see Aberdeen University Review , 27 (1939-1940), 56-57; and The inscriptions of Pictland: an essay on the sculptured and inscribed stones of the north-east and north of Scotland, with other writings and collections, edited by William M. Alexander and John MacDonald (Aberdeen: Third Spalding Club, 1944), pp vii-x.
Dr William McCombie Alexander was born in Aberdeen on 22 Jun 1880, and graduated from the University of Aberdeen, MA 1900, BL 1903, and LLD 1952. His father, Henry Alexander, was editor of the Aberdeen Free Press, and for a while he too was employed in the editorial and management side of the paper. A linguist and scholar of considerable merit, specialising in Gaelic philology, he wrote and edited several scholarly works, including Place-names of Aberdeenshire (Aberdeen: Third Spalding Club, 1952), and F.C Diack's The inscriptions of Pictland, cited above. For further details see Aberdeen University Review , 38 (1959-1960), 13-14.
|Custodial History||Each of the collections described here was probably utilised by Dr William M. Alexander and John MacDonald, whilst compiling The inscriptions of Pictland; and it seems likely that MS 2636 and MS 2771 remained in the custody of John MacDonald (1886 - 1970), lecturer (from 1926, reader) in Celtic and Comparative Philology at the University of Aberdeen, 1922 - 1956, prior to their deposit.|