This collection consists of 55 instruments, primarily plucked strings, including star items such as the 1665 Roman archlute by Martinus Harz and a Venetian guitar of 1614 by Matteo Sellas. Anne Macaulay (1924-1998) was born in Fife. She worked in the paper-making industry and trained as an aeroplane pilot before her marriage. She was fascinated by the sounds of the lute and the guitar as a child, which led to her passionate interest in plucked string instruments and their history. For several years she promoted concerts in Edinburgh, attracting the world's finest guitarists and lutenists. Over a period of years she built up her collection of instruments to a total of 55 including a number of important and beautiful guitars. Latterly she turned her inquiring mind towards the stringed instruments of antiquity, investigating (for example) the application of Pythagorean science to the tuning system of the Greek lyre. In addition to giving her collection, Anne Macaulay also gave a great deal of skilled voluntary work to Musical Instrument Museums Edinburgh.
Margaret Anne Oliphant Macaulay, née Russell (11th March 1924 – 5th November 1998).
Donated to the University of Edinburgh, partly in 1977 and partly in 1985.