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Collection MS 3600 - Gordon of Cluny papers

Identity area

Reference code

GB 231 MS 3600


Gordon of Cluny papers


  • 1665-c1930 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

173 boxes, 44 wrapped volumes, 37 bags of plans

Context area

Name of creator

Gordon family, early 17th c - 20th c, of Cluny Castle, Aberdeenshire (Early 17th century - 20th century)

Biographical history

Cluny Castle, Aberdeenshire, was the historic seat of the Gordons of Cluny from the eighteenth century, passing through marriage to the Linzee-Gordons, in whose hands it remains today. The family owned several other estates in the North-East, including Slains, Midmar, Kebbaty, Buckie, and Kinnernie; as well as property in the Scottish Highlands, most notably the Long Island estate of Lady Emily Gordon-Cathcart, spanning the islands of Barra, South Uist and Benbecula.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection relates to the management of the various estates belonging to the Gordons of Cluny in the period c 1880 - c 1930. It contains substantial and informative series of records for the estates of Cluny, Slains, Midmar, Kebbaty, Buckie, and Kinnernie, all Aberdeenshire, the estate of Kinsteary in Nairn, the Long Island estate of Barra, South Uist and Benbecula, and the estate of Titness Park in Berkshire, which will be of interest to anyone engaged in the rural, agricultural, social or architectural history of these areas. The papers relating to the Long Island estate are of particular interest, as they date from a time of endemic discontent amongst the crofters there, and include details of the resulting emigration (mainly to Canada) and social unrest.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The records are available subject to the signed acceptance of the Department's access conditions

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Some records have been affected by dampness and as a result are in an extremely fragile state. Some records are presently unfit for production.

Finding aids

Digital item level catalogue is available through Aberdeen University Special Collections Centre website at
The records have not been fully listed, but every effort will be made to accommodate the interests of bona-fide researchers. The National register of Archives (Scotland) list which was prepared in 1974 serves as an interim finding aid, and can be consulted in the reading room, or at the National Register of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S) survey list 1162). Some items described on the list have not been deposited at the University, most notably certain records relating to emigration. Researchers are advised to contact Reading Room staff for further details (e-mail: ).

Allied materials area

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Existence and location of copies

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Publication note

For further details see John Malcolm Bulloch 'The Gordons of Cluny from the Early Years of the Eighteenth Century down to the Present Time' (Buckie, 1911); and Alexander Macpherson, 'Gleanings from the Charter Chest at Cluny', 4 vols (Inverness: 1899 - 1901). See also 'A History of the Family of Linzee Gordon' unpublished in three volumes by Robin Alexander Craig Linzee Gordon, available from the Reading Room of Aberdeen University Library Special Collections & Archives.

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