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Literature, pp.l-li.

[Gazetteer of Scotland Contents]

The literature of Scotland, as to standard and periodical publication, great or national literary institutions, and even minor appliances of production and diffusion, is, with unimportant exceptions, concentrated in Edinburgh and Glasgow, particularly the former; and will be found sufficiently noticed in our accounts of these cities. The Lowland Scotch are eminently a reading people, and, in proportion to their bulk, have probably a very considerably larger number of public libraries than any other in the world. Subscription libraries – sometimes two or more in number, and generally large, select, and comparatively rich in literature – exist in most of the large towns; parochial and congregational libraries, for the most part pervaded by religiousness of character, exist in villages, hamlets, and in rooms attached to the crowded chapel of the city, or the solitary rural church or meeting-house; private circulating libraries, or libraries on private adventure, for letting out books to promiscuous readers, are usually of a light character, and abound in city, town, watering-place, and every locale or resort of the intellectually frivolous; circumambulating libraries, or such as keep detachments of a very large and excellent library in garrison throughout the country, and periodically move them from post to post, are in full and benign possession of extensive territories; Sabbath-school, and other juvenile libraries, exist in great numbers, for the use of the young; and a public news-room, for blending literature with commerce, and with mental recreation, is to be found even in many a village, and in almost everything which can fairly be called a town. – The number of stamped newspapers in Scotland, in the year ending September, 1836, was 54; the number of stamps issued to them, was 2,654,438; and the amount of stamp duty received from them was £35,392. In the year ending 15th September, 1837, the newspapers were 65; the stamps 4,123,330; and the duty £17,180. In the year ending 5th January, 1839, the newspapers were 64; the stamps 4,228,370; and the duty £17,386 1s. 4d. In the half-year ending 30th June, 1839, the newspapers were 63; the stamps 1,908,780; and the duty £7,876 5s. 5d. At the last of these dates, 3 of the newspapers were published in Aberdeen, 2 in Arbroath, 2 in Ayr, 2 in Berwick, 2 in Cupar-Fife, 3 in Dumfries, 3 in Dundee, 12 in Edinburgh, 1 in Elgin, 1 in Forres, 12 in Glasgow, 2 in Greenock, 3 in Inverness, 2 in Kelso, 1 in Kilmarnock, 1 in Leith, 2 in Montrose, 1 in Paisley, 4 in Perth, 2 in Stirling, 1 in Stranraer, and 1 in Wick. Of the whole 63, no fewer than 46 were weekly; while 5 were published thrice a-week, and belonged to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Greenock; and 12 were published twice a-week, and belonged to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Greenock, Kelso, and Leith

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