CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3244
TitleAlexander Thomson of Banchory, antiquarian: manuscript volumes
Date1696 - 1866
Extent18 volumes (0.6 linear metres)
Creator NameAlexander Thomson (1792 - 1868)
Banchory Farmer Friendly Society (fl 1776 - 1866)
Administrative HistoryAlexander Thomson came from a family of lawyers with a long association with Marischal College, Aberdeen. He himself graduated AM from there in 1816, the son of Andrew Thomson, and he was enrolled as an advocate in Edinburgh in 1820. Author, antiquary and philanthropist, he made many donations to the College library. In 1826 he returned to Aberdeen to become more closely involved in the College: he was Dean of Faculty in 1826, from 1852 to 1855, and in 1858, and was Rector's Assessor in 1841, 1843, 1846 and 1848. He died in 1868. His very wide-ranging interests, particularly on Victorian social and educational issues, are well represented in his library of c. 1600 books, and 6,000 pamphlets, bequeathed to the Free Church College, Aberdeen, after his death, and now deposited as a named collection in the University Library.
Custodial HistoryAlexander Thomson's library was bequeathed to the Free Church College, Aberdeen, with directions that it be made over to the University should that College cease to be recognised by the Free Church for the training of its ministers. It descended to its successor, Christ's College, by which it was transferred to the custody of the University of Aberdeen around 1960. Manuscript volumes were deposited in the University Archives as MS 3244 in 1986.
SourceDeposited in the University in Oct 1986, by Dr Henry Sefton, Master of Christ's College, Aberdeen.
DescriptionThis collection contains the manuscript volumes from Alexander Thomson's library. It includes tour journals from his travels in Britain and Europe (1818-1863) and a small selection of other personal papers, including commonplace books (1816, 1819 and 1827), notes of sermons (1818-1819), and a catalogue of Banchory House library (July 1864). The minute book of Banchory Farmer Friendly Society (1776-1866), and extracts from Kirk Sessions and other ecclesiastical records of Aberdeen (1562-1622), made in 1696 by Robert Davidson, are also present.
AppraisalThis material has been appraised in line with normal procedures.
AccrualsNone expected.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsThere is no restriction of access. Any question of publication must be referred to the Master of the College.
Physical DescriptionNo physical conditions affecting use of collection.
Related MaterialMS 2829 - Catalogue of the library of Alexander Thomson (1798-1868) of Banchory, author, as bequeathed to Free Church College, Aberdeen (189 pages).

Printed books and pamphlets from Alexander Thomson's library are maintained as separate named collections by the University: The Thomson of Banchory collection of books (TB) and Thomson of Banchory collection of pamphlets (Thomson).
Publication NoteGeorge Smeaton, 'Memoir of Alexander Thomson of Banchory' (Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1869)
Charles Hunt, 'Alexander Thomson: gentleman and collector', 'The Deeside Field', 18 (1984), 98-103
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