The John Murray Archive
I must admit I’d not heard of the John Murray Archive before today, when it was announced that, thanks to grants from the Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Executive, the National Library of Scotland looks set to buy it. Judging by the Scotsman’s report, it’s worth the silly money asking price:
The John Murray Archive contains more than 150,000 letters and manuscripts by Byron, Scott, Darwin and countless other figures of global significance.
The rich and diverse range of subjects includes archaeology, classical studies, bibliography, history and scholarship, art, architecture, art history and collecting, cookery, gardening, music, theatre and children’s books.
The travel and exploration papers contained in the Murray Archive include papers from David Livingstone and Ernest Shackleton, as well as manuscripts of reviews by Sir Walter Scott.
Quite a coup for the Library, then, and, since they plan to open parts of the Archive to the public ‘within months’, with online access to follow, really rather exciting news.
Update: …or possibly not. Keen reader Bob Mottram (relation) just emailed, pointing to this report, from March of last year, in which John Sutherland, of UCL and the Grauniad, describes the collection as a ‘plumless pudding’.