Archibald Campbell, who entered the Indian Civil Service and retired as Judge of the High Court of Lahore, was the youngest son of John Campbell of Kilberry, and Secretary of the Music Committee of the Piobaireachd Society.
The material is arranged tune by tune, approximately in the order of appearance in ‘Ceol mor’ by C S Thomason, and consists of copies of the text of each piobaireachd from all authoritative sources, both printed (including some proof sheets) and manuscript.
The main printed sources are ‘A collection of ancient piobaireachd’ by David Glen, ‘A collection of the ancient martial music of Caledonia’ by Donald McDonald, the Piobaireachd Society collections, occasionally ‘Ceol mor’ by Thomason, the ‘Kilberry book’ where applicable, and other sources where they exist.
Manuscript sources are also given, where available: these are principally the Campbell Canntaireachd (MSS.3714-3715), the Angus Mackay book (MS.3743), the Reid Manuscript (MS.22118) and the Donald McDonald Manuscript. Campbell had access also to collections belonging to the Cameron family and to J MacDougall Gillies. Where appropriate, the text from the John MacKay book is given, but with the necessary caveats about 'tampering' by a later hand.
The music is supplemented by notes, many of which are by John Grant, on the history and background of a particular piobaireachd, where known, as well as related letters from pipers and others.
The material appears to have been compiled between about 1903 and 1963, most being dated between about 1920 and 1940. Many items are undated.