Record

CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
LevelFonds
Ref NoMS 2636
TitlePapers of and relating to Francis Carney Diack: collection realting to ogam, Pictish or Latin inscriptions and sculptured stones in Scotland
Date1924-1939
ExtentMS 2636: 2 boxes and 2 parcels
Creator NameFrancis Carney Diack (1865 - 1939), Celtic scholar Francis Carney Diack (1865 - 1939), Celtic scholar
Dr William McCombie Alexander (1880 - 1959), Gaelic philologist Dr William McCombie Alexander (1880 - 1959), Gaelic philologist
Administrative HistoryFrancis Carney Diack 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 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 HistoryEach 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 in Special Libraries and Archives.
SourceMS 2636: date and source not recorded. Probably deposited by John MacDonald c 1967
DescriptionMS 2636 Collection of photographic negatives, plates, prints and slides, plaster casts and rubbings, of ogam, Pictish or Latin inscriptions and sculptured stones in Scotland, made by F.C. Diack c 1924 - 1939. The collection has not been fully catalogued, but named sites and monuments identified thus far include the Ackergill Disc; circular ogam at Logie; the Newton Symbol Stone; ogam stone at Insh; Pictish stone at Logie Elphinstone; stones in Meigle Museum; the Beanshill stone; the Drumfours stone; stones at the Kirk of South Whiteness, Lerwick; Clephanton stones; Latin slab from Kirkmadrine; inscribed stone from Whithorn Priory; Pictish stone from Keiss Bay; the Drosten stone at St Vigeans; Roman stones at Fordoun; the Cat stone at Kirkliston; the Grantown sculptured stone; the Newton stone (taken prior to its re-location). Many other images remain unidentified. There are additionally, 16 card index files containing Diack's research on Scottish place names.
AppraisalThis material has been appraised in line with normal procedures
AccrualsNone expected
Access StatusRestricted
Access ConditionsSome items are stored in special environmental conditions and require an acclimatisation period of 24hs before they can be accessed.

The plaster casts deposited are stored at Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen, and access arrangements for these items must be made in advance. Please contact Reading Room for further advice (e-mail: specialcollections@abdn.ac.uk)
LanguageEnglish
Physical DescriptionNo physical conditions affecting use of collection
CopiesSome of the papers, photographs and drawings described above are reproduced in F.C. Diack's 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)
Publication NoteF.C. Diack, 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)
Finding AidsThis typed list of contents is based on draft inventory compiled in 1967 by John Mackechnie, some-time reader in Celtic, Aberdeen University. The order in which his various categories were arranged has been altered somewhat to facilitate packing in box files or because of being oversize. Films or plates have been placed in wallets or envelopes in the same order as corresponding prints as far as was possible. When lantern slides are numbered a note of this has been made and they are placed in numerical order in their boxes.
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