William Gilpin Collection


About the Dalhousie Gilpin Collection

William Gilpin (1742-1804) was a man with many interests and talents. During a teaching, preaching and writing career that spanned over fifty years, Gilpin published approximately sixty works. Of that total, forty-six are present in the Dalhousie Gilpin Collection. In total, the collection consists of sixty-seven titles in seventy-eight volumes.

Collection Highlights

Noteworthy titles in the collection are the Gilpin family Bible (1715 ed.); William Gilpin’s Three essays on picturesque beauty, on picturesque travel and on sketching landscape (1792); Willam Gilpin’s Remarks on forest scenery and other woodland views relative chiefly to picturesque beauty ( 1791); Gilpin’s Sermons preached to a country congregation Vols. 1-4 ( 1799); handwritten copies of two religious works and one fiction manuscript completed by John Bernard Gilpin (William’s son) for his son, Rev. Edwin, a minister in Nova Scotia; and the diary of Edwin Gilpin, Jr., Commissioner of Mines for Nova Scotia.


The collection presents all the influential works of William Gilpin, an important British educator and art theorist. Associated volumes document the varied and successful careers of his descendants in North America.

More from Vessels of Light: A Guide to Special Collections in the Killam Library, by Karen E. M. Smith.