History of Scottish Publishing

By David Finkelstein

The first book to be printed in Scotland was the Bible by Chapman and Millar in 1507. In centuries to come, Scotland’s publishing industry would become renowned for its fine quality book production. This was particularly true after the rise in the eighteenth century of pioneering Edinburgh bookselling and publishing figures such as Allan Ramsay, Gavin Hamilton, William Creech and William Smellie. In their roles as booksellers, they brought together the Edinburgh literati, who came to their shops to inspect the latest works and London imports in stock, and stayed for long discussions and exchanges of ideas. Ramsay, Creech and Smellie played their part in encouraging free exchange of ideas in the capital city, and disseminating the results to the wider world. The generations after transformed Scottish publishing fortunes, making their mark worldwide in areas as diverse as cartographic, educational and literary publishing.

next -> Pioneers