This project aims to highlight the use of the Leighton Library in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and to look into the lives of some of its individual borrowers. Originally founded in “Dunblane in Scotland to remaine there for the vse of the Clergie of that Diocess”, the library’s trustees opened use of the library in 1734 to anyone able to pay a yearly subscription.
Borrowing records, which appear to be complete between 1780-1833, tend to give not only names and books borrowed, but also the occupation and address of those borrowing. This is therefore a resource invaluable to family and local historians, since such information is difficult to find before the first census in 1841. Furthermore, books selected for borrowing, along with how and when they were borrowed, give an insight into the library lives of each individual.
Each blog post on this site will explore the borrowings of an individual Leighton Library user, using local and family history sources to place the records of their borrowing into context. The blog will highlight the wide range of ages and occupations of library users, far beyond the clergy users that the library’s founder first envisaged.
A catalogue of the Leighton archives is published as Gordon Willis (1981) Catalogue of manuscripts: Leighton Library, University of Stirling Bibliographical Society. Copies are held in several research libraries and can be purchased from the University.