University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections

Rare Books

Buchanan Collection

Images of the Buchanan Collection

A subject-based collection of works by and about George Buchanan (1506-1582), developed by the Library from existing stock during the present century, with additional purchases from time to time. It contains over 250 volumes, with the emphasis on early and older editions; most are pre-1851, c. 150 are pre-1701. It includes a copy of the 1582 Rerum Scoticarum historia formerly owned by Andrew Melville (1545-c. 1622), Principal of St Mary's College, St Andrews, with annotations thought to be in his hand. Additions are still made to this collection from time to time.

Finding aids

The collection consists of 264 volumes. Classmarks for books in this collection have the prefix Buch and can be found on the online catalogue here.


Oxford Dictionary of National Bibliography entry for George Buchanan.


Find out how you can get copies of books, manuscripts or photographs held within Special Collections.

Collection development policy

Discover how the Special Collections Division makes decisions on the development of its rare book collections.

Current projects

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