The University Archive's Special Collections cover a broad range of subjects

The Brechin Diocesan Library and Manuscripts
'Flight' illustration from the Book of HoursIn 1792 the Diocesan Library was founded to collect books for the improvement of the clergy. Two hundred years later the library, a collection of over 10,000 rare books and manuscripts, was deposited with Dundee University, along with manuscript material created by the Diocese, its churches and clergy.

The library consists of many theological books, some of great bibliographic interest, but it also contains many works of history, the classics, philosophy, medicine, and science. The oldest volume dates from around 1475, and as with many rare book collections, the bindings, iluustrations, seals and other physical aspects are as of equal interest as the content. The manuscript and documentary material comprises administrative records, sermons and discourses, correspondence, diaries, transcripts of baptismal and other registers, plans and photographs. ‌The Diocese of Brechin largely covers the counties of Kincardine, Angus and Perth.

Please note that staff normally need 24hrs notice to retrieve items from this collection

The Kinnear Local Collection
A substantial collection of around 4600 items and growing, the collections comprises books by local authors and on local history, the local built and natural environment and about local people and events. 
The collection is named after Catherine Kinnear, whose own library forms the kernal of this special collection. Catherine was a graduate of the University of St Andrews, active in Dundee Civic Trust and a founder member of Abertay Historical Society. Her bibliographic and antiquarian interests led her to bequeath her library and personal papers to the University.

Joan Auld, the first University of Dundee ArchivistThe Joan Auld Memorial Collection
A significant collection of material on labour and related history. Donated in memory of Joan Auld, the first University Archivist


The Rosalind Mitchison Collection
Mitchison's own personal book collection on Scottish History was donated to the Archive by the family following her death in 2002. We are grateful to Prof Chris Smout and Prof Chris Whatley for facilitating this donation.

Henry Pearce Robbie Collection
This collection on architecture and architectural history spans the 19th and 20th centuries and includes texts on the architecture of ancient Greece, the Greco-Roman and Italian Renaissance as well as British domestic architecture of the Tudors to the modern garden suburb

HP Robbie practised as an Architect in Dundee up until the 1970s and worked on several well-known buildings such as the Sands disco in Broughty Ferry and Robertson's Furniture Store in Barrack Street.

Several of the Archive's collections include significant libraries, including

The Glasite Collection
Reverend John Glas (1695-1773) was suspended as a Presbyterian minister after publishing “Testimony of the King of Martyrs” in 1729, which embodied his opposition to interference of the Solemn League and Covenant.  Glas set up a church in Dundee whose members became known as Glasites and, in 1733, built their first meeting house in Perth where he was helped by his son-in-law Robert Sandeman.  Other churches in Scotland followed and then in England; later Robert Sandeman exported the faith to America where its followers became known as Sandemanians. Central beliefs of the Glasites include the view that Christ’s Kingdom is purely spiritual and wholly separate from the state.

Published sermons, 'exhortations' and discourses on ethical, political and religious matters as well as bibles and biblical texts form a notable part of the Glasite Collection*

The Grampian Club
Formed in 1927, the Grampian Club organises hill walks, rock climbing and skiing within the local area and abroad. Other activities include lectures and slide shows and the publication of The Grampian Club Bulletin. Members of the club are also involved in Tayside Mountain Rescue and take an interest in issues relating to the environment and access to the Scottish countryside.

The Club's library, which dates from 1846, includes some journals as well as books on mountaineering and hill-walking experiences, about Scottish, European and Asian ranges as well as land surveys.

Ronald Doig Collection
Ronald Paterson Doig was a lecturer in English at Queen's College Dundee and St Andrews University from 1962 until 1982 and bequeathed his library to the University. Dating from 1729 and spanning over 200 years, the collection mainly comprises of books which were published in Dundee and books which relate to the city's people, places and organisations.*


*The collection is in the process of being fully arranged and listed, so many items do not appear in our catalogue