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Correspondence and papers of Rear-Admiral Robert Kirk Dickson (1898-1952) and of his younger brother, Midshipman Archibald Kirk Dickson (died 1916), with some papers of their father, William Kirk Dickson (1860-1949), first Librarian of the National Library of Scotland.

Identifier: MSS.13501-13597

Scope and Contents

The collection, in which family correspondence predominates, reflects all aspects of the naval career of Robert Kirk Dickson. He took part in the Battles of the Falkland Islands, 1914, Gallipoli, 1915, and Jutland, 1916. In the Second World War he served as Duty Captain in the Admiralty War Room, 1939-1940, and commanded the fast minelayer, H.M.S. Manxman, 1940-1942, when he took part in a series of offensive minelaying operations in the Channel, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. He was Deputy Director of Plans, Naval Staff, 1943-1944, and Chief of Naval Information, 1944-1946. He served finally as Head of the British Naval Mission to Greece, 1949-1951, and retired in 1952. The correspondence and papers of Archibald Dickson largely concern his brief naval career before his death at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, when he was serving on board H.M.S. Queen Mary.


  • Creation: 1st half of 20 century.

Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


97 Volumes

Language of Materials



The papers are arranged as follows: MSS.13501-13588. Papers of Rear-Admiral Robert Kirk Dickson. MSS.13589-13594. Papers of Midshipman Archibald Kirk Dickson. MSS.13595-13597. Miscellaneous.

Custodial History

The papers are formed from three separate accessions: MSS.13501-13588, presented, 1956, by Mrs Robert Kirk Dickson; MSS.13589-13596, 13597, folios 1-103, 109-146, presented, 1956, by Mrs William Kirk Dickson; MS.13597, folios 104-108, bought, 1968, Documents and Autographs Ltd., London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Various, 1956, 1968.

National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division
Description rules
International Standard for Archival Description - General
Language of description
Script of description

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