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

Davidson Collection

TitleDavidson Collection
DescriptionJames Davidson of Summerville, Dumfries was a former student of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. His collection of 923 mineral specimens was donated to the university for the purpose of teaching and research, by his son, Dr James Davidson in 1947. The collection includes specimens from classic localities all over the world but is particularly strong in minerals from the famous Leadhills-Wanlockhead mining district as well as Northern England and Cornwall. During the University’s winter session of 1874-1875, Davidson studied Geology and Mineralogy under Professor Archibald Geikie, holder of the newly created Chair of Geology. He was one of the first students to benefit from the department’s new museum, which was set up by Geikie in 1873 as a core part of the teaching of Geology. Davidson began collecting minerals in the 1870s and continued until his death in 1929. Davidson worked as an analytical chemist in agriculture and the water industry before being appointed County Analyst for Dumfriesshire in 1887. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry and the Society of Antiquarians. In his spare time, Davidson identified and arranged the mineral collections in the Observatory Museum, Dumfries. His hobbies also included numismatology, archaeology and botany. He was jointly responsible for the reformation of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society in 1876. Davidson regularly contributed to the Transactions of the Society and read his paper “Two of the Platanoid Metals, Palladium and Rhodium” at its first meeting.
CustodianJames Davidson
Custodial HistoryThe Collection was donated to the university for the purpose of teaching and research, by James Davidson’s son, Dr James Davidson in 1947.
OriginCornwall; Dumfries and Galloway; England; England; Europe; Leadhills; Scotland; South Lanarkshire; United Kingdom; Wanlockhead
Identifierunivedcld024
Parent Collection Geology Collection

Image: Image