University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections

Rare Books


Donaldson Collection

Images of the Donaldson Collection

‌The library of Sir James Donaldson (1831-1915), Principal of the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard at St Andrews 1886-1915, was bequeathed in 1915. It contains c. 10,000 volumes and includes two incunabula (Goff P-810, P812), 75 books of the 16th century; around 600 pre-1801, but mostly 19th century books on philosophy, religion, the classics (especially), theology and church history, administration of universities and education. A large number are in Latin and Greek. Special Collections also holds the papers of Principal Donaldson in the manuscript collection.

Finding aids

The whole collection, consisting of 11124 volumes, is in the library’s online catalogue. Principal Donaldson's own thematic catalogue in manuscript is also held. Classmarks for books in this collection have the prefix Don and can be found on the online catalogue here.


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.