Book ownership in late eighteenth-century Scotland: A local case study of dumfriesshire inventories

Vivienne Dunstan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Late eighteenth-century Scotland saw a period of growth in the availability of print material set against the backdrop of the Scottish Enlightenment. Yet despite much scholarly attention having been paid to the Enlightenment and an increasing interest in the books people were reading, little attention has been paid to the books that would have been found in individual Scottish houses and what they reveal about Scottish mindsets in these years. This paper addresses this topic, using a local case study of after-death inventories of personal possessions. These rich records reveal the size of household libraries, the varieties of books they contained, variation by occupation and social class, and the extent to which their owners engaged with and were influenced by debates and ideas of the time. In addition, the evidence allows us to consider the uses to which different types of books were put, examine differences between urban and provincial Scotland, and consider how and where people bought their books.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)265-286
    Number of pages22
    JournalScottish Historical Review
    Volume91
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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