Tag Archives: book collection

Call for Papers: The Astorga Collection, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 20 May 2020

Prester John illustration from
Coleccion de los trages (shelfmark G.5.a.1)
National Library of Scotland

ARTES members with experience of using the National Library of Scotland’s Astorga Collection or expertise in topics related to its formation and contents are encouraged to contribute to an upcoming conference organised by Dr Christopher Storrs, Reader in History at the University of Dundee, to be held in Edinburgh on Wednesday 20 May 2020. 

The collection contains 3,617 early-modern Spanish printed books and is one of the National Library of Scotland’s lesser-known treasures. Part of the library of an aristocratic Spanish family, the Marqueses de Astorga, it was acquired in 1826 for the Advocates Library (the National Library’s precursor) by Sir Walter Scott’s son-in-law, J.G. Lockhart. The collection contains several texts on history, theology, geography and science, and illustrated books, some with maps or hand-coloured plates. Eleven are incunabula, and many others date to the sixteenth century.

At present, the conference programme includes presentations on Sir Walter Scott and Spain, J.G. Lockhart, and themes related to the Astorga collection in a nineteenth-century British context. Additionally, the organisers seek proposals addressing the collection from a Spanish viewpoint, notably on the Astorga family, the situation of Spain in the early nineteenth century, the book acquisitions and their value to historians. Papers on Golden Age holdings are particularly encouraged. 

The collection is catalogued on the NLS’ website under the shelfmark G. (click here), but a handlist is also available upon application.

For further information, and to propose a conference paper, please email Dr Christopher Storrs, c.d.storrs@dundee.ac.uk.