University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections


Presentation addresses from the Quincentenary of the University

Records of the Quincentenary

This project digitised and made available on the web a selection from the beautifully-crafted presentation addresses from institutions and learned bodies world-wide which were sent to the University of St Andrews in 1911 to commemorate our Quincentenary.

Not only the addresses were carefully created; the wrappings, tubes, cases and bindings in which they were presented are embossed, engraved and upholstered. Coats of arms and seals on coloured ribbons abound.

The small selection was chosen from the 145 addresses and framed presentations which survive in the Muniment Collection. Some scrolls clearly illustrate the identity of the donor institution, even naming the man representing them and his role at the celebrations – the delegate who handed the scroll over at the presentation ceremony in September 1911 was, after all, affiliating his own institution with St Andrews at that time and was likely to have been the recipient of an honorary degree during the festivities.

Others try to represent something associated with St Andrews or picked up elements of the history of St Andrews, such as referring to the learned men of distinction associated with the University's past.

The calligraphers, artists, typesetters and printers employed to create the addresses have produced wonderful objects, many making reference to the practices of manuscript illustration in use at the time of the University's foundation in 1410-13. These are displayed as an online exhibition within the Digital Humanities section of the Library's website.


Manuscript or muniment?

Not quite sure what the difference is? Learn about how to distinguish between our different archival collections.

Collection development policy

Discover how the Special Collections Division makes decisions on the development of its manuscript and muniment collections.

Current projects

Read about the exciting projects the Archive team is currently working on, and those that have been completed recently.