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Correspondence and documents of Sir Walter Scott and of John Gibson Lockhart, formerly in the possession of Major-General Sir Walter Maxwell Scott, Baronet of Abbotsford, Companion of the Order of the Bath, Distinguished Service Order.

Identifier: MSS.851-938


  • Creation: 18th century-19th century.

Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


88 Volumes

Language of Materials



Those which were received loose have been bound. Others had already been bound, somewhat unmethodically in 1875 by Orrock & Son, Edinburgh (see MS.1762); it has not therefore been possible to arrange the collection quite logically. The papers are arranged as follows: MSS.851-860. Letters of Sir Walter Scott MSS.861-864. Papers relating to the partnership with the Ballantynes MSS.865-874. Letters to Sir Walter Scott MSS.875-876. Original compositions of Sir Walter Scott MSS.877-882. Materials for works written or edited by Sir Walter Scott. MSS.883-890. Material for 'Life of Napoleon Buonaparte' by Sir Walter Scott MSS.891-915. Miscellaneous material, chiefly collected by Sir Walter Scott: (MSS.891-900) Literary material, (MSS.901-908) Antiquarian material, (MS.909) Topical material, (MSS.910-915) Miscellaneous material MSS.916-922. Accounts of Sir Walter Scott and other documents relating to him MSS.923-936. Correspondence of John Gibson Lockhart MSS.937-938. Miscellaneous papers

Other Finding Aids

Lists of contents have been inserted in many of the miscellaneous volumes.

Custodial History

The collection was bought by the National Library of Scotland with the aid of the Reid Fund. With the exception of MSS.861-864 and some other papers relating to the Ballantynes, these had been preserved at Abbotsford, where they were found in Sir Walter Scott’s desk and cupboards.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bought, 1931-1932, from Sir Walter Maxwell Scott, Baronet, who facilitated the purchase by his generous terms. He also presented several documents, which are indicated under the relevant description.

Separated Materials

See also MSS.1549-1634.


The letters addressed to Sir Walter Scott form a supplement to the volumes of letters in the possession of Hugh Walpole, Esquire, selections from which have been printed in the ‘Private letter-books of Sir Walter Scott’ (London, 1930) and “Sir Walter’s post-bag” (London, 1932), both edited by W Partington; the last-named volume contains some letters from MSS.865-870. All the material in the Abbotsford Collection has been used in the ‘Letters of Sir Walter Scott’, Centenary Edition, edited by Sir Herbert J C Grierson (Edinburgh, 1932-1937).
National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division
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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