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Editorial files and papers of John Murray, publishers, regarding its educational works., 1960-1999

Identifier: Acc.13328/1287-1489

Scope and Contents

This series contains over 180 individual editorial files relating to named titles published by John Murray, publishers, from their educational list, largely dating from the 1960s-1990s, with a particular emphasis on the final two decades between 1980-1999. Editorial files primarily contain editorial memoranda and proof corrections sent between editorial and production staff. In certain cases, files also include correspondence between the books’ authors and the publishers, or from third parties, including readers, reviewers, booksellers, and copyright holders. The series concludes with an advertising ledger for educational titles, alongside a number of correspondence files relating to foreign rights management, marketing projects, copyright permissions, and contracts.


  • Creation: 1960-1999


Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

In the late nineteenth century John Murray publishers experimented with new areas of publishing, including educational titles, biographies, adventure stories and books about eastern culture. Education titles began appearing as early as 1898, as evidenced in the series of catalogues "Mr. Murray's Catalogues of Educational Works". Subject areas included history, geography, literature and language, archaeology and art, and science. It would be in the latter half of the 20th century (beginning in 1960 and accelerating in the 1980s-1990s) that the educational publishing component of the company would become a driving force in the wider business and "crucial to the finances of the firm" (Carpenter, 2008). Two notable educational authors in the company's history included Don (D.G.) Mackean and Tom Duncan, both of whom wrote popular science textbooks. Many of Murray's textbooks became staple texts in school bibliographies at GCSE and A level ."In the decade from 1987 more of Murray's educational books won the prestigious Times Educational Supplement Secondary Schoolbook Award than any of its competitors - an unprecedented three times" (Carpenter, 2008, p.305).


20 Boxes

Language of Materials



Editorial files have been arranged by subject area, in keeping with the subject areas identified in the company’s own educational catalogues. These include: Business Studies; English; Geography; History; Home economics, health & child care; Mathematics; Modern languages; Religion; Technology; and Science. The series concludes with correspondence, contracts, and an educational advertising ledger.

Related Materials

A sub-series of John Murray educational catalogues can be accessed in Acc.13328/1166-1239.

Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
0131 623 3700