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Posts Tagged ‘nineteenth-century’

Piping treasure on display in ‘The Piper’s Whim’ Exhibition

A collection of piobaireachd, or pipe tunes : as verbally taught by the M’Crummen pipers in the Isle of Skye to their apprentices / now published, as taken from John M’Crummen … [by Neil MacLeod, Gesto]. Edinburgh : Printed by Alex. Lawrie & Co., 1828. New College Library Gaelic Collections 137

Currently on display at St Cecilia’s Hall, Cowgate, Edinburgh is an instruction book on the bagpipe  (in Gaelic Pibroch, or, Ceol mor, or, literally, Big music) from New College Library’s Gaelic Collection. Entitled “A collection of piobaireachd, or pipe tunes”  it  includes ” Canntaireachd notation” which was a way of teaching pibroch using verbal sounds. At first sight this looks like a collection of texts, but is actually music in the traditional ‘verbal notation’ that pipers used. It was published by Captain Niel MacLeod of Gesto, in Skye.

The volume is on display as part of THE PIPER’S WHIM: Exhibition of Historic Bagpipes from Scotland, England and Ireland,  a special exhibition showing the full variety of bagpipes played in Britain from the past 250 years. These include Lowland and Border pipes, the more familiar Highland bagpipe, Northumberland smallpipes and Irish union or uillean pipes. The exhibition explores the traditions of piping, pipemaking and bagpipe ownership.

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Science and religion : a natural history #ILW2013

Natural History CollectionInnovative Learning week kicks off at New College Library with a chance to see some of the scientific books in New College Library’s Special Collections and find out where they came from and why they were collected at New College Library. Please drop in to look at the book display in the Funk Reading Room, Monday 18 February 11-12am and ask questions.

Several of the items in this display are drawn from New College Library’s Natural History Collection, a Special Collection numbering about 175 books. This dates from the early days of New College, where ‘Natural Science’ was taught until 1934. The collection covers the mid-nineteenth century controversies over evolution and natural selection, with geology particularly well represented. There is a focus on Scottish natural history and on texts by Scots writers.

Can’t come to the display? See the presentation slides on slideshare.

Walking with Angels? Exploring Death in Modern Scotland

Song School St Mary, 1897, f.13r by Phoebe Anna Traquair, (b.1852, d.1936) . Edinburgh University Library

Song School St Mary, 1897, f.13r
by Phoebe Anna Traquair, (b.1852, d.1936) . Edinburgh University Library

There are still places available at the forthcoming conference on Death in Modern Scotland , 1855: beliefs, attitudes and practices at the School of Divinity, New College Edinburgh, on 1-3 February 2013. Among the speakers is Dr Elizabeth Cumming (Honorary Fellow, University of Edinburgh; Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Glasgow) on  ‘Phoebe Anna Traquair, angels and changing concepts of the supernatural in fin-de-siècle Scotland’. This image of one of Phoebe Anna Traquair’s works is taken from a volume in Edinburgh University Library’s Special Collections, with further images available online.

The wood-walls of Scotland : a Christmas Carol

The wood-walls of Scotland : a Christmas carol, from the Fife Sentinel, with additions. Edinburgh : W. P. Kennedy … etc., 1844. New College Library F.a.12/13

New College Christmas Carol Service is taking place today at 5pm in the Martin Hall, led by members of the New College community and with singing from the New College Choir. Here’s a Christmas carol from  New College Library’s collections.

This pamphlet, The wood-walls of Scotland, was originally published in the newspaper the Fife Sentinel.  It contains a carol that would have been sung to a popular hymn tune, inspired by the verse from Psalm 132 “Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.” Published after the Disruption of 1843, the carol is celebrating the outdoor services held to accommodate congregations who had separated to form the new Free Church of Scotland.

“On hill-side and green valley

Our wooden temples placed

The faithful, round they rally

The Gospel-standard rais’d”

Remembering the life of Guru Nanak

The life of Baba Nanuk, the founder of the Sikh sect of the Hindu religion in the Punjab : for the use of schools : compiled from original sources and accompanied by a map. Lahore : The Chronicle Press, by Kunniah Lall, 1859. New College Library P.g.21.13/2

Sikhs around the world will celebrate the birthday of Guru Nanak on Wednesday 28 November. Guru Nanak (1469-1539) was the founder of the Sikh religion.

The life of Baba Nanuk, from New College Library’s Pamphlets collection aims to give an introduction for schools to Sikhism’s founder and the early history of the religion. New College is the only library in Scotland to hold a copy of this work.

This item was catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.

From Greek to Gaelic

Just over 400 items which together form the Gaelic Collections at New College Library have now been catalogued online and their details can now be browsed online using the shelfmark “Gaelic Coll.”  This collection of monographs and pamphlets was put together from various sources, including thirty nine books from the bequest of the Rev. Roderick Macleod.

A contender for the oddest item in New College Library’s Gaelic Collections are a series of works by Thomas Stratton trying to prove the Celtic source of Latin and Greek, including “Proofs of the Celtic origin of a great part of the Greek language”. 1840 ; Gaelic Coll 213 and  “Illustrations of the affinity of the Latin language to the Gaelic or Celtic of Scotland”. 1840 Gaelic Coll 213. This copy has a handwritten inscription identifying it as previously belonging to the Library of the Church of Scotland.

With thanks to Patrick Murray, our Gaelic Cataloguer, for supplying details of this item.

Gaelic hymns from the Highlands

Grant, Peter. Dain spioradail. Elgin : Peter Macdonald, bookseller, 1837. New College Library Gaelic Collections 250.

New College Library’s recently catalogued Gaelic Collections contain several editions of  “Dain spioradail ” by the celebrated hymn writer Peter Grant.

This edition at Gaelic Coll. 250  is the fifth edition, considerably enlarged and improved from earlier editions. It was published in Elgin, in the highlands of Scotland.

The title page information refers to Grant’s Gaelic name Pàdraig Grannd nan Òran, which means ‘Peter Grant of the songs’. Grant was a Baptist minister, born on 30 January 1783 at Ballintua, Strathspey, Scotland. He was a skilled fiddle player, who was able to set his poems on evangelical themes to well known tunes which were popular into the twentieth century.  This work is typical of the works in the Gaelic Collection, which contains many volumes of religious poetry.

With thanks to Patrick Murray, our Gaelic Cataloguer, for supplying details of this item.