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Correspondence and papers of and concerning David Hume.

Identifier: MSS.23151-23164

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a) drafts of letters of David Hume, and letters received by him and in his possession at his death; b) the manuscripts of Hume's writings, published and unpublished, which were in his possession at his death; c) letters of Hume (some copies) which were returned by the recipients or their heirs to Baron Hume.

Included are manuscripts of some of David Hume's works, circa 1750-1776; and some related papers, 18th-19th centuries. Also, some papers concerning the collection and its use (in MS.23163) and an annotated copy of the calendar of it (MS.23164).


  • Creation: 1727-1837, undated.

Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


14 Volumes ; All volumes, except MS.23164, are folio and contain items of various sizes.

Language of Materials



The arrangement of the collection remains that which was established for the calendar; volume I = MS.23151, etc.; the foliation of the guardbooks constitutes a numeration of the letters (the pagination in red on the letters themselves represents an earlier arrangement due to Baron Hume).

Custodial History

This collection of papers was bequeathed by Hume’s nephew, David Hume, Baron of the Exchequer, who died in 1838, to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Copies of David Hume's letters to William Mure were presented to the Royal Society in 1844 by William Mure of Caldwell and added to the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited, 1987, by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

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