James Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford
James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford and 9th Earl of Balcarres (1847 – 31 January 1913) was a British astronomer, politician, bibliophile and philatelist. A member of the Royal Society, Crawford was elected president of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1878. He was a prominent Freemason.
The Earl was the son of Alexander the 25th Earl and his wife Margaret. He was asthmatic and spent considerable periods at sea studying the more portable sections of the family library which had been established by his father. He married Emily Florence Bootle-Wilbraham. One of their sons was Sir Ronald Charles Lindsay, noted diplomat and ambassador to the United States, 1930-1939.
Crawford was interested in astronomy from an early age. Along with his father, he built up a private observatory at Dun Echt, Aberdeenshire. He employed David Gill (astronomer) to equip the observatory, using the best available technology. Among his achievements, Gill later made the first photograph of the Great Comet of 1882, pioneering astrophotography and the mapping of the heavens. Crawford mounted expeditions to Cadiz in 1870, to observe the eclipse of the sun; and then to Mauritius in 1874, to observe the transit of Venus.
Upon hearing of a threat to close down the Edinburgh Royal Observatory, in 1888 Crawford made a donation of astronomical instruments and his books on mathematics and the physical sciences from the Bibliotheca Lindesiana in order that a new observatory could be founded. Thanks to this donation, the new Royal Observatory, Edinburgh was opened on Blackford Hill in 1896.
As well as much astronomical equipment, Crawford's observatory included an extensive collection of rare books, part of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana at Haigh Hall, which his father and he had accumulated till it was one the most impressive private collections in Britain at the time.
The Bibliotheca Lindesiana
The Bibliotheca Lindesiana had been planned by the 25th Earl and both he and his eldest son had been instrumental in building it up to such an extent that was one the most impressive private collections in Britain at the time, both for its size and for the rarity of some of the materials it contained. Alexander William Lindsay had been a book collector from his schooldays and so he continued. In 1861 he wrote to his son James (then 14 years old) a letter which describes his vision of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana; in 1864 he redrafted and enlarged it while visiting his villa in Tuscany. By now it was 250 pages long and under the name of the "Library Report" it continued to be added to during their lifetimes. He based his plan on the Manuel of J.-Ch. Brunet in which knowledge is divided into five branches: Theology, Jurisprudence, Science and Arts, Belles Lettres, History; to which Alexander added six of his own as paralipomena: Genealogy, Archaeology, Biography, Literary History, Bibliography and Encyclopaedias; and finally a Museum  Features of the collection included reacquired stock from earlier Lindsay collections, manuscripts both eastern and western, and printed books, all chosen for their intellectual and cultural importance.
The bulk of the library was kept at Haigh Hall in Lancashire with a part at Balcarres. The Earl issued an extensive catalogue of the library in 1910: Catalogue of the Printed Books Preserved at Haigh Hall, Wigan, 4 vols. folio, Aberdeen University Press, printers. Companion volumes to the catalogue record the royal proclamations and philatelic literature. The cataloguing and organization of the library was a major task for a team of librarians led by J. P. Edmond. The manuscript collections (including Chinese and Japanese printed books) were sold in 1901 to Enriqueta Augustina Rylands for the John Rylands Library. Other parts of the collections have since been donated to or deposited in national or university libraries, including the National Library of Scotland. In 1946 the deposited collections were distributed to the British Museum, Cambridge University Library, and the John Rylands Library. Changes to these locations were made by later Earls of Crawford; apart from the Crawford family muniments those at the John Rylands Library were removed in 1988.
Crawford's philatelic interests grew out of his work in extending the Lindsay family's library. He purchased a large collection of philatelic literature formed by John K. Tiffany of St. Louis, the first president of the American Philatelic Society. Tiffany's was already the world's largest and most complete collection of philatelic literature. Supplemented by purchases throughout Europe, eventually Crawford's collection was given to the Philatelic Section of the British Museum, in London.[when?]
Crawford formed notable collections of the stamps of the Italian States, the United States and Great Britain. The Crawford Medal was established by the Royal Philatelic Society London in Crawford's honour for distinguished contributions to philately. It is awarded annually for “the most valuable and original contribution to the study and knowledge of philately published in book form during the two years preceding the award.” Crawford's name was included as one of the “Fathers of Philately" in 1921.
- Owen Gingerich, ‘Lindsay, James Ludovic, twenty-sixth earl of Crawford and ninth earl of Balcarres (1847–1913)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 15 Feb 2011
- Gill, D. "On Photographs of the Great Comet", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 43, p.53
- The Royal observatory, Edinburgh
- Lord Crawford's donation of books and instruments
- Manuel du libraire et de l'amateur de livres; 4e édition / dans laquelle les nouvelles recherches bibliographiques, pub. par l'auteur en 1834, pour y servir de supplément, sont refondues et mises à leur place ... le tout rédigé et mis en ordre par une société de bibliophiles belges. Bruxelles: Meline, Cans & comp
- Defined as "those manuscripts and books which were «monuments not so much of thought and literature as of bibliography»"--Barker (1978); p. 225
- Barker (1978) Bibliotheca Lindesiana; chapter 8: the library report, pp. 195-230
- Since April 1974 in Greater Manchester
- Guppy, Henry (1946) "The `Bibliotheca Lindesiana', in: Bulletin of the John Rylands Library; vol. 30, pp. 185-94
- British Philatelic Trust, Rowland Hill, promotion of "the study, research and dissemination of knowledge" about philately - UK Philately, Stamps and stamp collecting plus much, much more GB
- American Philatelic Society - Hall of Fame - 1941
- American Philatelic Society - Hall of Fame - 1941
- "Court Circular" The Times (London). Thursday, 4 January 1900. (36030), p. 6.
- Barker, Nicolas (1978) Bibliotheca Lindesiana: the Lives and Collections of Alexander William, 25th Earl of Crawford and 8th Earl of Balcarres, and James Ludovic, 26th Earl of Crawford and 9th Earl of Balcarres. London: for Presentation to the Roxburghe Club, and published by Bernard Quaritch
- Catalogue of the Crawford Library of Philatelic Literature at the British Library (1991).
- Edmond, J. P. "Suggestions for the description of books printed between 1501 and 1640"; by John Philip Edmond, Librarian to the Earl of Crawford. Library Association Record; [1902?]
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Crawford
- Information on the Crawford Collection at "Royal Observatory Website". Retrieved Jan. 8, 2005.
- "Inventory of the James Ludovic Lindsay collection of French manuscripts, 1767-1863", Rubenstein Library, Duke University.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Wigan
With: Thomas Knowles
Francis Sharp Powell
|Peerage of Scotland|
Alexander William Crawford Lindsay
|Earl of Crawford