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Cowie Collection

John Cowie Collection John Cowie Collection
John Cowie was a Glasgow export merchant whose collection (originally belonging to his father, Charles Rennie), was donated to The Mitchell Library by his widow in 1964 and 1965. The collection has been added to stock and contains many rare and valuable books and manuscripts including:
  • holograph letters of Robert Burns and scarce editions of his poems
  • autograph letters and albums, including letters from David Livingston and Bonnie Prince CharlieAutograph Album 1Autograph Album 2, Autograph Album 3
  • first editions of Milton, Galt and Scott
  • early editions of Chaucer
  • Bassandyne Bible 
  • Fordun's Scotochronicon
  • three contrasting Books of Hours :  a late 14th century manuscript for use in the diocese of Rodez, with headings in Provincal;  one in Dutch, from the middle of the 15th century and another 15th century manuscript from Rouen, with the Calendar in French.
  • Statutes of the Premonstratensian Fathers is an undated rubricated copy with added decoration in the shape of four large historiated initials in a dull flat style, cut from a larger service book and inserted at intervals
  • George Buchanan's Rerum Scoticarum Historiapublished in 1582 was his most substantial and controversial work; James VI opposed the work due to its political viewpoint and the description of his mother, Mary Queen of Scots. This copy has Sir Walter Scott's signature on the first page.
  • Sketches, a book of pen and wash sketches illustrating Scots songs, made c.1793-95 by the Alloa-born artist David Allan (1744-1796)
How to find items in the Cowie Collection How to find items in the Cowie Collection
  • Selected items from the Cowie Collection have been added to the online catalogue; you can search by title of the item. 
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Special Collections
Level 5, The Mitchell Library
North Street 
G3  7DN