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University of Guelph Library
Scottish Topography, Local and Regional

The Library’s archival, rare, and special collections section can be reached by taking the single elevator or stairs in the south-east corner (past the Circulation/Reserve area) to the lower level where researchers can use materials in the Wellington County Room. TRELLIS, the TriUniversity Libraries catalogue, is the primary tool for identifying and locating materials in Archival and Special Collections. TRELLIS can be accessed via the public terminals through the Library home page (, where various electronic resources, such the rare books in Early English Books Online and Eighteenth Century Collection Online, are also available.


The collection was begun in 1965, shortly after the History Department was formed. Interest in Scottish topography was general but tended to concentrate on Edinburgh and the east of Scotland until the purchase in 1981 (with the assistance of a SSHRC Fleeting Opportunities Grant) of the Joe Davis collection on Glasgow and the west of Scotland, a collection especially rich in parish, local, and regional histories. Since that time, efforts have been made to collect for all of Scotland. Special attention has focused on the north-east, including Orkney and Shetland. In addition to generous regular contributions of library funds for the collection, faculty and library staff have been fortunate in securing grants from private and government sources for the acquisition of Scottish studies materials.


Material on all aspects of Scottish topography is collected at a comprehensive level, in printed works as well as manuscripts.The collection includes books, periodicals, pamphlets, local histories (private and society publications), broadsides, maps, atlases, photographs, and other ephemera. The collection is not limited to history, but also includes parish and church congregational histories, and local, natural, corporate, economic, and social histories on topics from golf clubs to redevelopment schemes. The archives hold the Ewen-Grahame Collection of Aberdeen manuscript material of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The collection includes complete sets of all three Statistical accounts of Scottland as well as all the Board of Agriculture reports for all the Scottish counties published in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


English predominates to such an overwhelming extent that the collection is virtually unilingual. There are only a few French and Gaelic items in the collection.


5,000 monographs, booklets, viewbooks, pamphlets, maps, atlases, and documents are included in the collection; of these, 200 items are in the Government Document Collection, more than 300 in the Rare Book Collection and 900 linear centimetres in the archives.



All titles are catalogued and available via the library’s online catalogue, TRELLIS. LC classification is used for all material.


The collection is open to the public. The hours of opening for circulating books in the library are posted. Rare and archival collections are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. (4:30 in summer).

Interlibrary Loan:

Available except for rare and archival materials.


Yes, as the condition of the material warrants, and as the copyright allows.

Reference Assistance:



Beattie, William, Caledonia illustrated. (1838)                                   rare books         s0286b23-24

Chapman, Robert, Topographical pictures of Glasgow. (1822)    rare books         s0499b24

Cooke, George Alexander, Topography of Great Britain.  (1810-1830)    rare books         s0217b88

Lawson, John Parker, Scotland delineated. (1858)                           rare books         s0340b22

Lothian, John, Lothian’s county atlas of Scotland. (1826)              rare books         s0327b01-08

Maitland, William, The history of Edinburgh from its foundation to the present time. (1753)                                                                                               rare books         s0274b01

M’Ure, John,  View of the city of Glasgow. (1736)                           rare books          s0247b17

Thomson, John & Lizars, William, The atlas of Scotland, containing maps of each county...    (1832)  rare books         s0014b08                 

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