This is a collection of just over 1800 sixteenth and seventeenth century books that was first documented in 1710, with the substantial donation of books from Dr John Hutton. It was used as a lending library, for the ministers of Dumfries, for which records survive in a ledger in Dumfries’s Ewart Library. Titles are marked : “Ex libris bibliothecae presbyterii Dumfriesiensis”
In 1884, the decision was made to transfer the collection to the General Assembly Library in Edinburgh, which was then transferred to New College Library in 1958. In 1965 John Howard took over as New College Librarian and he took a particular interest in the Dumfries Presbytery Library, reassembling it into its original pressmark order as a Special Collection.
In the process of cataloguing, we have discovered both unexpected and familiar treasures. Dumfries Presbytery Library books have featured in displays for the inaugural lecture of Professor Susan Hardman Moore, Professor of Early Modern Religion, and for the visit of the University Chancellor, HRH Princess Anne.