Books and Borrowing 1750-1830

Books and Borrowing Creative Writing Competition: Materials

The materials here are provided in support of the Books and Borrowing Creative Writing Competition.

Innerpeffray Library

Innerpeffray Library, Borrowers’ Registers Vol. 2, page 6v.
This photograph shows a page from the borrowers’ register of Innerpeffray Library, near Crieff in Perthshire. The date is 1859, and the borrowers come mainly from nearby settlements. The first two columns record the date the book was borrowed, the third is the name of the book. The fourth column gives the name of the borrower, followed in the fifth and sixth by the borrower’s occupation and then address. The final three columns record the book’s return and the date of that return.



Nov 19 Chambers Journal John Edwards P[olice] Constable Muthill Returned 10 Jan 60
Men of the Line Hugh Campbell Labourer Gilmore Returned 21 Dec
Brougham’s Sketches Vol 6 [?]McClean Niven Miller Mill of Earn Returned 29 March
Sunbeams in the Cottage [?]McClean Niven Miller Mill of Earn Returned 29 March
Duty & Affection James Drummond Art of Mason Gilmore Returned 21 Dec
Dec 2 Rob Roy Vol 4 Robert Bayne Carpenter Tomacknock Returned 3 Feb
Memoirs of Englishwomen Ann Drummond Tomacknock Returned 29 March
French Revolutions 3 vols William Sorley Do [i.e. ditto – i.e. carpenter] Do [i.e. Tomacknock] Returned 3 February
2 Black Dwarf. Heart of England Fraser McFarlane Gardener Mill of Earn Returned 21 Dec
Story of My Life (Hans Andersen) Duncan Connacher Gardener Mill of Earn Returned 21 Dec
The Betrothed and Tales of a Traveller Miss Duff Mills of Earn Returned 29 March
7 Arabian Tales and Butler’s Poetry David May Ironmonger Crieff Returned 21 Dec
7 Cave’s Lives of the Apostles John Drummond Mason Gilmore Returned 27 March
7 Bride of Lammermuir John Drummond Jr Mason Gilmore Returned 21 Dec
Chambers Pocket Miscellany 5-6 John Niven Servant Mill of Earn Returned 29 March 60
12 Buffon’s Natural History 5,6,7 Robt McNeil Gamewatcher Drummond Returned 17 March
14 Pennant’s Tour vol. 3 Tho. Soutar Solicitor Crieff Returned 15 Apr
[illegible] Hugh Dow Muthill Returned 25 May
Thomas a Kempis James Robertson Muthill Returned 25 May


 Leighton Library

Leighton Library MS30
This photograph shows a page from the Leighton Library’s ‘Water Drinkers’ borrowers’ register, so-called because those recorded in its pages were temporary visitors to Dunblane who had come to ‘drink the waters’ at the nearby spa of Cromlix. Here we see the borrowings of Miss Dalgleish, in 1815, and Dr Murray, first in 1815, and then in 1817. Both paid the sum of two shillings and sixpence, which gave them borrowing rights for a fortnight.


1815       Miss Dalgleish    2/6 first fortnight

Aug 10th                Zeluco –  two volumes. Retd.

Jane Dalgleish

12th                         Chrysal                four volumes. Retd.


1815       Dr Murray           Prof Chemistry

Present of a Book which gives him (ord.d by trustees) a Title to read.

Augt 12th              Cottagers of Glenburnie                                               one        Retd

Nimmo’s Hist. of Stirlingshire                      one        Retd

Dr Robertson’s Perthshire                           one        Retd


Orkney Library & Archive

Orkney Library & Archive MS C05-100-5
This page from the Orkney Library Borrowers’ Register for the period December 1820 to March 1824 shows the borrowings of a wide variety of Orkney borrowers. Popular here are periodicals, such as the Edinburgh Review and the Quarterly Review, and the novels of Walter Scott – with borrowings of his novels Kenilworth (1821), The Monastery (1820) and The Pirate (1822) featuring repeatedly.

Chambers Circulating Library Interactive Map