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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the William Keddie Papers 1750-1860

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Keddie, William. Papers

Dates:

1750-1860

Size:

.5 linear ft.

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

William Keddie (1809-1877), editor, scientist, collector, and author. The Papers contain correspondence, an autograph book, manuscripts, and newspaper clippings. The collection reflects Keddie's concerns as editor of the Scottish Guardian, as well as his interests in religion, science, history, and collecting manuscripts and letters. The papers also include letters addressed to John Parker, printer, publisher, and superintendent of the Cambridge University Press.

Information on Use

Access

No restrictions.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Keddie, William. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

William Keddie (1809-1877), Scottish editor, collector, scientist, and author, began his varied career in a Glasgow printing establishment in 1822. A decade later he became editor of the Scottish Guardian, a Glasgow literary review. Leaving the Guardian to pursue his scientific interests, Keddie joined the faculty of Free Church College in 1860 as lecturer in natural history and later donated to the college his geological and zoological collections. His scientific interests also led to his active participation in the Glasgow Philosophical Society, which he served as secretary and as editor of its Transactions.

In addition to science and letters, Keddie showed an interest in the religious questions of the day, particularly the Disruption of the Church of Scotland. He made The Scottish Guardian a forum for the discussion of such questions, and for a time he edited The Glasgow Sabbath School Union Magazine.

Another interest that engaged much of Keddie's time was the study of local history. He was the author of Moffat: its Walls and Wells (1845); Staffa and Iona Described and Illustrated (1850); and Maclure and Macdonald's Series of Guides to the Highlands of Scotland (1859).

Scope Note

The William Keddie Papers contain correspondence, an autograph book, manuscripts, and newspaper clippings. The collection reflects Keddie's concerns as editor of the Scottish Guardian, as well as his interests in religion, science, history, and collecting manuscripts and letters. The papers also include letters addressed to John Parker, printer, publisher, and superintendent of the Cambridge University Press.

The first part of the present collection comprises approximately seventy letters written to Keddie from the mid-1830's to the mid-1850's, while he was editor of The Scottish Guardian. Although many of the letters deal specifically with editorial and business affairs of the magazine, others reflect Keddie's wide-ranging interests in religion, science, and history. Among the correspondents represented are Sir Robert Peel, Robert Cavendish (1805-1855), T. B. Macaulay, Patrick MacFarlan, the Rev. James Hamilton (1814-1867), SamuelBrown (1817-1856), Nathaniel B. Ward, John Coldstream, John Fleming, William and Robert Chambers, Sir Henry Wellwood-Moncrieff, Alexander Duff, and John J. Griffin.

Of particular interest is a letter dated January 11, 1847, from John J. Griffin, publisher, chemist, and author of Chemical Recreations. Griffin advocates to Keddie a novel method of teaching chemistry in which each student would be provided with the necessary apparatus so that an entire class could participate in the experimental process. This is the "manner of philosophizing" which Griffin would recommend to the new student, "namely to begin with experiments, and then to draw conclusions warranted by the resulting phenomena."

The collection also includes a group of twelve letters addressed to John Parker (1792-1870). Parker at one time was superintendent of the Cambridge University Press, and his practical suggestions are credited with converting the press into a profitable commercial enterprise. In 1832 he established himself at 445 Strand, where he served as published of the Christian Knowledge Society and issued the Saturday Magazine.

Parker was the publisher of a number of important authors, including John Stuart Mill, George Lewes, Charles Kingsley, and James A. Froude. While none of these authors is represented in the present collection, there are letters from such men as James Payn, Sir Edward Strachey, and Richard Chenevix Trench, dating from the period in the 1850's when Parker was publisher of Fraser's Magazine. The letters deal primarily with business and editorial matters of that distinguished journal.

The largest part of the collection consists of an assortment of letters and manuscripts that range wide in subject and time. Dating from about 1750 to 1860, these materials collected by Keddie were written by a variety of lords, politicians, authors, and other men of substance, and they present an interesting view of social and intellectual conditions of the day. Because of the miscellaneous nature of this material it has been catalogued as part of the library Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

Letters to William Keddie.

Box 1   Folder 2

Letters to John Parker.

Box 1   Folder 3

Autograph book of William Keddie.

Box 1   Folder 4

Letters and manuscripts collected by William Keddie. Authors identified and listed in the Miscellaneous Manuscript File.

Box 1   Folder 5

Letters and manuscripts collected by William Keddie. Authors not identified.

Box 1   Folder 6

Miscellaneous documents, poems, clippings, etc.