A number of special collections have been donated to the library service over the years and are now housed in the Local & Family History Department.
The Atholl Collection
Consisting of around 600 books and manuscripts of Scottish music, some from the seventeenth century, this has been described as one of the most important collections of its kind in existence. A catalogue was published in 1999 and is available from the library service at a cost of £4.95 plus postage. A card index to the tunes has been compiled by a volunteer and this is currently being transferred to an Access database. Please give us a ring or send us an email if you are looking for a particular tune.
The Mackintosh Collection
This library was donated to the Sandeman Library in 1933. It had been the personal library of the Reverend Donald Mackintosh before he left it to the city of Dunkeld to be used as a public library. It contains many theological texts as well as histories, geographies and poetry. We have recently been working on the collection and have added many of the titles to a British Library Database called the English Short Title Catalogue. You can search for books in the AK Bell Library by searching under Perth.
Perth and Kinross Sound Archive
This consists of many hours of recorded conversations between field workers and elderly residents of rural Perthshire, some of which have been transcribed. Topics include farming, fishing and many other aspects of rural life. The archive also includes several hundred photographs.
Dr Mary Noble
Beatrix Potter’s connections with Perthshire have become better known in recent years, and some of the credit for this must go to the Dr Mary Noble. When she was researching the life and work of Charles McIntosh (the Inver postman and local naturalist) she discovered a number of letters from Beatrix to Charles concerning the fungi of the area. While most people are aware of her furry creations such as Peter Rabbit, few know that she was also an amateur expert on fungi.
Following the discovery of the letters Dr Noble herself became an acknowledged expert on Beatrix, collecting over fifty books about her and co-authoring at least one. Dr Noble died in July 2002 and her Beatrix Potter collection, together with photographs and a large number of slides, has been given by her niece to the AK Bell Library in Perth. The collection has been kept intact and is available for consultation in the Local & Family History section on the first floor.
View list of books in the Dr Mary Noble Collection [200kb].
Gaelic Society of Perth
The library of the Gaelic Society has been housed in the AK Bell Library for many years and includes books published up until 1929. You can view the Gaelic Society of Perth (list of holdings) [44kb] and if you wish to consult any of the titles, please contact Local & Family History.