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Blackwood Papers: part of the literary archives of the firm of William Blackwood and Sons, publishers.

Identifier: MSS.4001-4940

Scope and Contents

The papers consist mainly of letters written by authors to Blackwood as their publisher, and by others in search of publication, but they also include some manuscripts and proofs of works considered for publication, together with some papers of William Edmondstoune Aytoun and John Wilson ('Christopher North'). Broadly, this is the incoming correspondence of the firm during the nineteenth century. The outgoing correspondence, so far as it is represented by copies in letter-books, etc., remained with Messrs Blackwood, as did the material relating solely to commercial and financial matters.


  • Creation: 1805-1900, undated.

Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


940 Volumes ; Folio and under.

Language of Materials



The papers have been arranged and bound in volumes as follows:

MSS.4001-4734. Correspondence MSS.4735-4891. Manuscripts and proofs MSS.4892-4894. Contributors' lists MSS.4895-4934. Aytoun papers MSS.4935-4936. Wilson financial papers MSS.4937-4940. Additional papers

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented, 1942 (MSS.4001-4936), 1961 (MSS.4937-4940), by Messrs William Blackwood and Sons, Ltd, Edinburgh.

Related Materials


Separated Materials

Printed items received with the papers but which contain no manuscript additions have been transferred to the printed book collections of the National Library of Scotland.


These papers were used by Mrs Oliphant and Mrs Gerald Porter in compiling ‘Annals of a Publishing House: William Blackwood and His Sons’, 3 volumes (Edinburgh, 1897-1898).

For a shorter but chronologically more extensive history of the firm, see ‘House of Blackwood, 1804-1954’ by F D Tredrey (Edinburgh, 1954).
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