Our manuscript collections contain large amounts of correspondence. Letters are sometimes found with other personal papers such as diaries and notebooks. See these examples:

  • Kelvin: correspondence of Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) with leading scientists and physicists (around 2500 letters)
  • Ker family: letters to and from the literary scholar William Paton Ker (1855-1923)
  • Christina Hunter Lawson: aspects of a schoolteacher's life in Edinburgh from 1910-1963, revealed in letters to her nephew
  • Alec Lawrence Macfie: letters from a Professor of Political Economy, early to mid 20th century, including his military experiences in World War One
  • James Robertson: letters to a Professor of Hebrew and Semitic languages at the University of Glasgow, 1864-1885
  • John Stirling: letters written by various correspondents to the Principal of the University of Glasgow, late 17th and early 18th century 
  • Whistler Archive: internationally important collection of papers of the artist James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), including some 7,000 letters
  • Wright: 20th century correspondence of an art dealer and historian
  • Zavertal: papers (mainly relating to music) including the penultimate letter written by the composer Mozart (1756-1791).

There are many letters in our MS Gen (general manuscripts) sequence. To locate these try the following search:

  • Choose Document Search from the manuscripts search
  • Type MS Gen in the Call Number box
  • Choose Letter from the Document Type drop-down menu
  • Narrow your search by date or keywords

To search across all our collections, by name or keyword, please use the rare books search (for printed material) and the manuscripts search (for unpublished material including notebooks, papers, photographs and drawings).

Web exhibitions featuring correspondence: