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In Aedibus Academicis
The Glasgow University Press

A selection of books from the printers of the University of Glasgow. Devised for the 2008 celebration of 500 years of Scottish printing.

Introduction | 17th Century | 18th Century|19th Century | 20th Century

RB 2032: detail of imprint from title-page

After James Mundell's death in 1800, there was a delay of two years before James and John Scrymgeour were elected to fill the vacancy of University printer. They were also booksellers and apparently ran a circulating library based in Glassford Street. Little is known about their printing endeavours. James died in 1804 and John in 1809.

RB 2032: title-page

RB 2032: printer's errata

RB 2032: plate 2

Henry Park Cases of the excision of carious joints
Glasgow: At the University Press, printed by and for John Scrymgeour; sold by Brash & Reid, Glasgow; A. Constable & Co.; Guthrie & Tait, and J. Anderson, Edinburgh; and J. Murray, Fleet-Street, London, 1806
Sp Coll RB 2032

This medical work postdates the death of James Scrymgeour. Although John initially contined to use  'J. and J.' in referring to the firm, by the time this was published he had dropped 'James' from the imprint.

d4-16: detail of illustration on frontispiece

Following the death of James Scrymgeour, there was another interval before Andrew Duncan assumed the role of University printer in 1811. By this time, there was no room for a press within College and Duncan was promised 20 annually out of University funds for a printing house. Duncan came from a family of booksellers and stationers. He himself worked as a bookseller and it is said that he was inspired to become a printer in order to produce the books that he knew there was a market for, but which were not available for sale. His work was excellent, gaining him a good standing with publishers in London. He printed for many years - latterly with his son - and was so prosperous that he erected new printing works (Villafield) in the city in 1818. Amongst other innovations, he introduced the Columbian Press and stereotyping to Glasgow. Unfortunately, he later ran into financial difficulties when the London firm of Hurst, Robinson & Company (for whom he undertook a large amount of work) failed.

d.4.16: title-page

d.4.16: frontispiece

Xenophon Cyropaedia
Glasguae : Excudebat Andreas Duncan, academiae typographus, veneunt apud Bell & Bradfute, Silvester Doig, et A. Stirling, Edinburgii; Vernor Hood & Sharpe, Londini; et J. & A. Duncan, Glasguae, 1812
Sp Coll d.4.16

Duncan was particularly keen to print the work of classical authors. He soon established a reputation for fine printing, reviving the standard of the Foulis Press. Dibdin praised him for his zeal, "diligence and good taste" in producing volumes of the classics.

BG55-e.5: frontispiece

BG55-e.5: title-page

Euripides Opera omnia
Glasguae : ex prelo academico, cura et typis Andreae et Joannis M. Duncan; impensis Ricardi Priestley, Londini, 1821
Sp Coll BG55-e.5

MacLehose describes this "superb" nine volume edition of Euripides' Works as one of Duncan's most scholarly achievements. The text is in Greek with a parallel Latin translation accompanied by extensive notes. The notes were provided by several learned commentators and collated by Duncan and his son, John.

LRA I15-a.8: title-page

LRA I15-a.8: p147

Sir Issac Newton Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica
Glasguae: ex prelo academico, typis Andreae et Joannis M. Duncan. Veneunt apud Lackington & soc., R. Priestley, G. & W. B. Whittaker, J. Cuthel, G. Cowie & soc., J. Collingwood, Treuttel & Wurtz, et Treuttel, Jun & Richter, Londini; necnon Parisiis, et Argentorati, apud Treuttel & Wurtz, 1822.
LRA I15-a.5-8

MacLehose highlights the importance of mathematical printing to the University press, stating that this edition of the Principia "brought great credit to Andrew Duncan". It was highly praised for its accuracy.

LRA Bf76-k.11: title-page

LRA Bf76-k.11:
preliminary remarks

James M'Conechy An introductory address delivered on the 19th March, 1825, on the formation of a literary and scientific institution among the workmen of the University printing office, Glasgow 
Glasgow: printed at the University Press, sold by Wardlaw and Cunninghame, 173, Trongate; Geo. Cowie & Co. London; Waugh and Innes, Edinburgh; and W. Scott, Greenock. 1825.
LRA Bf76-k.11

This pamphlet gives a little insight into life as a printer at the beginning of the 19th century. It states that there are "from ninety to ninety-five men and boys employed at the University Printing Office" and explains the regulations for subscribing to this institution for self-improvement and education and its library. Details of the preliminary lectures are also provided, and the introductory address is printed out in full.

T.C.L 3772: detail of imprint

Duncan resigned as University printer in 1826, selling all the printing materials and stereotyping apparatus of the printing office at Villafield. The University's next choice of 'Messrs Hutchison & Brookman' was not made until 1831. Appointed for one year only, their career was "brief and chequered". Hutchison was a printer and stereotyper and Brookman a skilled operative printer who had worked for Duncan. They had formed an ill fated partnership with other printers (including John Blackie, of the famous printing business). It is thought that Hutchison might actually have retired by the time they were made University printers.

T.C.L 3772: title-page

Jesuitical policy and iniquity exposed: a view of the constitution and character of the Society of Jesus..
Glasgow : Printed by Hutchison and Brookman, for William Collins, Glasgow; Wm. Whyte and Co. and Wm. Oliphant, Edinburgh; R. B. Lusk, Greenock; A. Gardiner, Paisley; and G. King, Aberdeen, 1831
Sp Coll T.C.L. 3772

This pamphlet was published at the expense of the Committee of the Glasgow Auxiliary Reformation Society. Although an example of the work of Hutchison & Brookman from 1831, it is not a University publication.

Ogilvie1404: detail of imprint

Edward Khull & Co. was a well established printing firm in Glasgow. Khull applied to be University printer following the year long tenure of Hutchison and Brookman; as on other ocasions, the Senate delayed in filling the vacancy until 1833. Khull remained in office until 1846. His business later diminished, probably owing to a break with Blackie, with whom he had formed an assocation, Like other printers of this time, Khull & Co. had combined forces with a variey of publishing companies over the years. It is said that Khull ultimately emigrated to Australia.

Ogilvie1404: title-page

James Cleland Letter to His Grace the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, Lord Lieutenant of the county of Lanark .. respecting the parochial registers of Scotland
Glasgow: Printed at the University Press, by Edward Khull, Virginia Street. MDCCCXXXIV. [1834]
Sp Coll Ogilvie 1404

James Cleland was a statistician and civil administrator. He was ordered the honorary degree of LLD in 1826 by the University of Glasgow in recognition of his pioneering contributions to statistical enquiry and to the advance of his native city.

RB 2899: detail of excursions

George Richardson was another established printer who had undertaken a great deal of work for the University even before his official appointment at the University Press in 1848. He had also previously worked with Hutchison.

RB 2899: title-page

RB 2899: final page

British Association for the Advancement of Science Leaflet giving information for the 25th Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science
Glasgow : George Richardson, Printer to the University, 1855, 2nd Edition.
Sp Coll RB 2899

MacLehose comments that after the failure of Andrew Duncan as printer to the University, those following in post seem "to have been more titular than real" in their connection with the University. Although this notice for a meeting of the British Association boasts of having been produced by the "Printer to the University", it is typically not an academic publication.

MacLehose goes on to remark that Richardson's workshop was small in comparison with the glory days of the Foulis brothers a century earlier - "to such small dimensions had the once famous Press sunk".

MS Gen 1594: detail recording 1872 contract
with MacLehose (from later reprint)

The last phase in the history of the University press began in 1872 with the appointment of Robert MacLehose. Robert was already connected to the University by the family business. His brother, James, had previously been appointed as the University's bookseller in 1864, and then as publisher to the University in 1871; he had also established the 'Western Book Club' (a circulating library) in 1841.

Robert was a bookseller in Ayr before James encouraged him to begin printing, supplying him with the capital and work to start a small printing shop. Although the works at Ayr were small, Robert soon established a reputation for excellence. Echoing the work ethic and ideals of the Foulis brothers in the 18th century, the brothers' publications were carefully planned and pride was again taken in producing typographically elegant work.

Robert purchased Richardson's stock and the University press at Glassford Street following his death in 1872; the press moved to West Nile Street a year later. From 1873 until his retiral in 1876, Robert was joined in partnership by Alexander Macdougall. His firm traded as 'MacLehose and Macdougall' but it was Robert who remained as printer to the University. The business developed and expanded until Robert retired in 1894 at the age of 75.

MacLehose 600: title-page

MacLehose 600: facsimile
title-page from 1726 edition

MacLehose 600: p109

Sir Isaac Newton Principia : Sir Isaac Newton's Principia
Reprinted for Sir William Thomson and Hugh Blackburn. Glasgow : James MacLehose, Publisher to the University, 1871.
Sp Coll MacLehose 600

It was the beauty of this volume that persuaded the University to appoint Robert MacLehose as printer to the University in 1872. He had it printed, while his brother, James, published it.

The press was subsequently closely and widely identified with mathematical printing.


MacLehose 136: bookplate of
James J. MacLehose

MacLehose 136: title-page

William P. Dickson St. Paul's use of the terms flesh and spirit
Glasgow: James MacLehose & Sons, St. Vincent St., publishers to the University, 1883
Sp Coll MacLehose 136

Many of the books published by James during this period were printed by Robert. This is a typical example of one of their University publications, produced in 1883. It is a series of lectures delivered by William P. Dickson, the Professor of Divinity at the time. Like many of the MacLehose items highlighted here, this volume has been preserved in the University of Glasgow Library as part of the MacLehose press collection. This collection of books was brought together by James J. MacLehose (1857-1943), the son of James. He too was a partner in the publishing side of the firm from 1881 to 1919. His distinctive bookplate can be found on all the books in the collection.

MacLehose 716: manuscript

MacLehose 717: penultimate
revised proof copy
(p. 57 with corrections)

MacLehose 718: clean proof
copy for final revision (p. 57)

Walter C. Smith North country folk. Poems.
Glasgow: James MacLehose & Sons, publishers to the University, 1883
Sp Coll MacLehose 716-719

Preserved also in the MacLehose collection is an interesting run of books by Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908). Smith was a Minister of the United Free Church and a poet. MacLehose published several of his poetry collections. Some of the working copies of his texts from the various stages of publishing have been saved in the collection; these offer a fascinating insight into the sequence of the 19th century printing process. North country folk, for example, survives as a manuscript (with the working title Town & country folk, and other poems), as a proof copy marked up in manuscript with corrections by the author, as a 'clean' proof copy (with far fewer revisions), and as the final published product.

RX 152: detail from title-page

Upon retiring in 1894, the senior Robert MacLehose's business was purchased by his nephews, Robert and James J. These were the sons of his brother, James: they had already been taken into partnership by James senior in his bookselling and publishing business, which became known as 'James MacLehose and Sons' in 1881. James senior died in 1885, but this side of the firm carried on under the same name. They continued the printing part of the firm under the name of 'Robert MacLehose and Company'. The two firms were quite distinct, although they obviously worked in tandem upon many publications.

The premises and work of the press expanded greatly at the end of the 19th century.

RX 152: title-page

RX 152: photos nos. 4 and 5

University of Glasgow Old and New
Glasgow: T. & R. Annan & Sons and James Maclehose & Sons, 1891
Sp Coll RX 152

This is an update of a memorial volume that was produced in 1870 to mark the move of the University from the city centre to its new site in the West End. Its photogravures include the original illustrations of the Old College, as well as a new series of the Gilmorehill buildings. The text gives a brief history of the University, and describes its administration and faculties, accompanied by portraits of many of the professors. It was produced by the local photographic firm of Annan for James MacLehose & Sons, the publishing and bookselling side of the MacLehose Company.



MacLehose 10: title-page

MacLehose 10: colophon

J. T. T. Brown The authorship of the Kingis Quair: a new criticism
Glasgow: James MacLehose & Sons, publishers to the University, 1896
Sp Coll MacLehose 10

A late 19th century academic text book that controversially disputes the widely held notion that James I was the author of the Kingis Quair.

The handsome University Press colophon incorporates the names of both Robert and James J. MacLehose.

Mu21-y.6: front board
 with University crest

Mu21-y.6: title-page

Addison, W. Innes A Roll of the graduates of the University of Glasgow ... 1727 to ... 1897
Glasgow: James MacLehose & Sons, 61 St. Vincent Street, Publishers and Booksellers to the University, 1898
Sp Coll Mu21-y.6

This is another example of a University publication printed by Robert Maclehose and Company and published by James MacLehose and Sons. An old version of the University crest is stamped on the front board.

The work was compiled by W. Innes Addison, the Assistant to the Clerk of Senate.

MacLehose (not yet catalogued)

Application & testimonials of Andrew Gray ... for the Professorship of Natural History in the University of Glasgow
Robert MacLehose & Co., printers [1899]
Sp Coll MacLehose [not yet catalogued]

The MacLehose press collection contains hundreds of testimonials produced for candidates applying for academic posts at the University of Glasgow. As well as providing interesting background into the administrative history of the University, these can be a useful source of biographical information.

Andrew Gray successfully applied to become the Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University in 1899. He remained in post until 1924. This pamphlet includes a statement by him in which he highlights his academic achievements and promises that, if appointed, he will "promote advanced scientific education and research, and ... further the interests of my old University". Also included are 25 letters of support. That from his former students and assistants in the University College of North Wales refers to the "high esteem in which we hold you both as a teacher and as a man".

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