Past Politics : Pamphlets from an independent Scotland

New College Library’s Pamphlets Collection of over 30,000 items captures the issues and debates from the seventeenth century onwards. Now on display in the New College Library entrance are just a few of the pamphlets that take up the debate over the Treaty of Union that was agreed between the two separate countries on 22 July 1706. This led to the Union with England Act, passed in 1 May 1707, by the Parliament of Scotland.

All these items were catalogued as part of the Funk Donation Projects, supported by the generous donation of Rev. Dr Robert Funk. W.d.1.7

Hodges, James

The rights and interests of the two British monarchies inquir’d into and clear’d : with a special respect to an united or separate state. Treatise I. Shewing the different nature of an incorporating and federal union ; the reasons why all designs of union have hitherto prov’d unsuccessful ; and the inconsistency of an union by incorporation with the rights, liberties, national interests, and publick good of both kingdoms.  Edinburgh : Re-printed by John Reid for James Donaldson, and are to be sold at the Caledonia Coffee-House, 1703.

New College Library W.d. 1/7


Defoe, Daniel

An essay at removing national prejudices against a union with Scotland : to be continued. Part I. Edinburgh : [s.n.], 1706. Published anonymously by Daniel Defoe.

New College Library W.d 1/4



The smoaking flax unquenchable : where the union betwixt the two kingdoms is dissecated, anatomized, confuted and anuuled. Also that good form and fabrick of civil gobernment, intended and espoused by the true subjects of the land, is illustrated and held out.

[Edinburgh : s.n.], Printed in the year 1706.

New College Library W.d. 1/15

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

Travel back 500 years with rare Hebrew book from New College Library

 Perush ha-Torah / leha-Rav rabenu Mosheh bar Nahman ... [1514]

Perush ha-Torah / leha-Rav rabenu Mosheh bar Nahman … [1514] פירוש התורה / להרב רבינו משה ב״ר נחמן.

This early commentary on the Pentateuch, published in 1514 has travelled all the way to Latvia to be part of the exhibition “1514. The Book. 2014“. On display until April 2015 at the National Library of Latvia, the exhibition includes 80 books published in 1514. Why 1514? The exhibition creators identified 1514 as a year of great change, 60 years after Gutenberg and on the cusp of the Reformation in Europe. The exhibition is “an opportunity to view the European cultural space in terms of a single year”.

The author, of this work, Perush-ha Torah,  was Rabbi Moses Ben Nahman or Nahmanides (1195-1270). He was a Spanish rabbi and leading scholar of Talmudic literature in the mediaeval period. This book is just one of the early works of Jewish scholarship in the Dalman-Christie collection of Hebrew books, which was recently catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.  The Dalman-Christie Collection was transferred to New College Library in 1946 from the Church of Scotland Hospice in Jerusalem.

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

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Treasures of New College Library – Andrew Melville’s Bible

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Biblia sacra utriusque Testamenti … [1529]. New Collegel Library, Knox 3.

One of the pleasures of being a librarian is the serendipity of discovering something special on the shelves whilst engaged in looking for something completely different. Whilst looking at materials about the Congregational Church in New College Library’s Special Collections recently, I came across this sixteenth-century Bible on an adjacent shelf. Manuscript notes attribute it to be ‘Andrew Melville’s Bible’, and the title page is certainly signed “A. Melville.”

John Knox Loan 3vr

This item is part of a small collection which at one time was housed at John Knox House in Edinburgh, although our provenance documentation records the ownership as being Church of Scotland.

Born on 1 August 1545 Andrew Melville (1545–1622), theologian, Biblical scholar and Presbyterian leader, had a scholarly career as Principal of Glasgow Unviersity and Principal of St Mary’s College, St Andrews University. He followed in the footsteps of John Knox as a defender of Reformation and Presbyterian principles, which at times set him in opposition with King James I of England and VI of Scotland.

James Kirk, ‘Melville, Andrew  (1545–1622)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 24 July 2014]

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity