University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections

David Hay Fleming (msdep113)

Images of the David Hay Fleming collection

David Hay Fleming was an eminent local historian, antiquary, and critic.  His papers are eclectic in nature, including 16th century trades books, 18th century University records, 19th century local records, personal correspondence, household accounts, newspaper cuttings, and notebooks, with an emphasis on local and ecclesiastical history. A prolific writer, Hay Fleming kept many notes from his preparations for publications, as well as drafts of works. He was also keen to document St Andrews' history, copying many of the manuscripts contained within the town archive. Much of Hay Fleming's archive is composed of correspondence, with topics ranging from archaeological finds, architecture, and Scottish history, to bibliographical matters, genealogy, and breeding horses. Many of Hay Fleming's letters to W A Craigie (1867-1957) discuss the meanings and spellings of words (see ms36707-36797).

Upon his death in 1931 Hay Fleming bequeathed his personal papers, letters, and notebooks, together with his books, to the town of St Andrews. They were to form the nucleus of a public reference library, with the proceeds of an endowment to be spent on works which would encourage and facilitate the study of Scottish history. The Hay Fleming Reference Library opened to the public in November 1936. Accommodated first in Kinburn House, and then at the Town Library, it was deposited with the University in 2000.

View the online catalogue entry for the David Hay Fleming Collection (a card index and hard-copy lists for msdep113 supplement this) or discover the Hay Fleming Reference Library on the Rare Books page.

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