Assisted by the College, a small but interesting archive of material relating to the Edinburgh University literary review, The Jabberwock, has been acquired by the Centre for Research Collections (Special Collections) for Edinburgh University Library.
The Jabberwock was an Edinburgh University literary journal, or review, starting in the 1940s and running to the late-1950s, and its editors have included Iain Ferguson, Ian F. Holroyd, Douglas Henderson, Barbara Macintosh and Alex Neish.
The archive contains manuscript and typescript work – literary and political – submitted to the title in the 1950s under the editorship of Ian Holroyd by Scottish literary figures such as: C. M. Grieve, or Hugh MacDiarmid; Robert Garioch; Martin Gray; Sydney Goodsir Smith; Bruce Etherington; Alan Riddell; Jonathan Mills; and, other contributors.
Also in the archive, there is correspondence to and from Ian F. Holroyd, posters for various editions of The Jabberwock and other printed ephemera, journal off-prints that would have assisted in the editing of some articles, scribbled accounts and sales figures, art-work, and some Jabberwock Committee Meeting minutes. Some typed lists of Jabberwock shop sales prompt recall of Edinburgh booksellers no longer with us – Thin’s, Baxendine’s, and Bauermeister’s.
Holroyd’s correspondents include, among others: Compton Mackenzie; Sean O’Casey; C. M. Grieve or Hugh MacDiarmid; Edwin Muir; Edith Sitwell; Jonathan Mills; Neil Gunn; and, Martin Gray.
Submissions to The Jabberwock by Hugh MacDiarmid include autograph manuscripts: The Scottish Renaissance: the next step; R.B.Cunninghame Graham; and, The significance of Sydney Goodsir Smith. The archive holds a typescript piece by Compton Mackenzie, at the time aged 70 (so probably from 1953), in which he lauds twenty-somethings, writing ‘that the University magazine of today is a much more interesting production than it was half a century ago […] I find a magazine like Jabberwock much more lively than The Oxford Point of View. I can read it through from cover to cover with pleasure […] I am quite unable to grasp what inspires all this pessimism over modern youth’.
Dr. Graeme D. Eddie, Assistant Librarian Archives & Manuscripts, Centre for Research Collections