I’ve had two enquiries in the last few weeks about Methodists in Scotland, from individuals researching their family history – it seems to be a hot topic!
Fortunately New College Library recently received Scotland’s Methodists 1750-2000 by Margaret Batty, as a donation from the author. It’s just been catalogued and is available at BX 8285 Bat. On reference, we also have Oliver A. Beckerlegge’s United Methodist Ministers and their Circuits 1797-1932, and enquirers able to visit the library can browse the shelves of church history books at LC class BX, and in the old UTS sequence, LX, which contain other titles about Methodism.
Much useful information on researching Methodist individuals can be found on the website for the Methodist Archives at John Rylands University, Manchester e.g http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/searchresources/guidetospecialcollections/methodist/using/indexofministers/
Archives relating to the Methodist Church in Scotland are also held by the National Archives of Scotland http://www.nas.gov.uk.
Spent some time this morning sculling through the New College archives looking for correspondence about some of the New College Special Collections, the Dumfries Presbytery Library and the Longforgan Free Church Ministers’ Library. There’s a fascination to leafing through the thin typewritten sheets that measured out the business of New College Library over the decades. One envelope contains the daily diary notes of the New College Librarian for the autumn term (no semesters then) of 1965 – jottings and tick lists of meetings about the finances, measuring up the space needed for new periodicals, noting library staff who’ve gone home feeling ill. Other letters are handwritten enquiries to the Librarian, and his replies – “Dear Miss Grant, I have very little to tell you about the revival of the use of the saints names as dedications of Church of Scotland Parish Kirks …” this said, the letter went on to give a full page of information. My life as a librarian is measured out in e-mails, with paper letters like these occasionally lurking at the fringes.