The University of Edinburgh's rare and unique collections catalogue online.

Clement Litill

TitleClement Litill
TypeRare Books
SummaryThe foundation collection.
DescriptionThe 276 volumes bequeathed by Clement Litill (or Little) in 1580 were the first books in the University Library. The books cover both Catholic and Protestant theology and humanist scholarship. There are outstanding individual items such as the unqiue copy of the Sarum breviary printed at Rouen in 1496 (Dd.1.24) and the first book printed at St. Andrews (the Catechisme of Archbishop John Hamilton, 1552, Dd.2.33. Many of the books have fascinating provenances, having been owned by Scottish bishops such as Henry Sinclair or William Scheves, and have early manuscript annotations. A manuscript catalogue of the books was drawn up in the 1580s and is printed in the Miscellany of the Maitland Club, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1834), pp 285-301. A catalogue with full bibliographical details is in Charles P. Finlayson, Clement Litill and his Library; the Origins of Edinburgh University Library (Edinburgh Bibliographical Society and the Friends of Edinburgh University Library, 1980). 243 of the original volumes are still in the library. All appear in the Library's pre-1985 main catalogue and many are now catalogued online. The collection was reconstructed in the early 19th century by David Laing and all the books now have shelfmarks beginning Dd.
Custodial HistoryClement Litill, 1580
Parent Collection Rare Books

Image: Litill's book stamp