Shetland Islands Collection

This collection of 72 titles is made up of several donations presented to the Alexander Turnbull Library between 1931 and 1951. It is held in the Turnbull Named Collections.

The first group was presented by the Shetland Society of Wellington on 21 January 1931, and the second and main presentation from the estate of Sir Robert Stout which arrived on 26 June1931. Others were donated 4 March 1946 from the estate of James Laurenson (d. 1942), a member of the Shetland Society, and Dr Robert Stout (1882-1959), the son of Sir Robert Stout, gave the last title in 1951.

The collection includes works on the language and dialect, and the literature, history, and geography of the Shetland Islands. Most of the works are in English with a small number in other Scandinavian languages.

Cover of Summer Tours in Scotland by David MacBrayne, illustrated with a ship in gilded inlay.
David MacBrayne, Summer hours in Scotland, [1902?]. Record page

About Robert Stout

Sir Robert Stout (1844-1930) was a prominent New Zealand lawyer, politician and educator, and was patron of the Shetland Society from 1922 to 1930. He was born and raised at Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, the eldest of six children of Thomas Stout, a merchant, and his wife Margaret Smith. Robert Stout emigrated to New Zealand in 1863, arriving in Dunedin on the ship Lady Milton in April 1864.

Robert Stout, behatted and with arms crossed, circa 1919.
Robert Stout, ca 1919. Ref: 1/2-005263-F.

Following a career in law, he was elected to the House of Representatives as a member for Caversham in 1875, and in 1878 was appointed Attorney General in Sir George Grey’s government. From July 1878 Stout was also Minister for Lands and Immigration, and from 1884-1887 he served as Premier of New Zealand.

Find out more in Robert Stout's entry in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Access items in this collection

Original items in this collection can be requested through the Library’s catalogue and consulted in the Katherine Mansfield Reading Room.

This collection is catalogued online and may be called up as a list on the National Library catalogue by searching ‘Shetland’ using the ‘in call number’ search option in the NLNZ catalogue advanced search.