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Treasure 57: James Scott Skinner Collection
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Treasure 57: James Scott Skinner Collection

Historic Documents
Léa Moreau
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Treasure 57: James Scott Skinner Collection
Historic Documents
Treasure 57: James Scott Skinner Collection
James Scott Skinner (5 August 1843 - 17 March 1927) was a Scottish dancing master, violinist, fiddler, and composer.

Born in Arbeadie village in Banchory-Ternan on 5 August 1843, Skinner was taught to play cello and violin by his father and brother at a young age and went on to become a successful musician, composer and dancer. He published more than 600 musical compositions, toured the United States and Canada and taught dancing at Balmoral Castle, Queen Victoria's Scottish retreat.

Aberdeen City Libraries hold many copies of Skinner's published work - including his Elgin and Logie Collections - and in 2001 we produced facsimile publications of some of Skinner's works to share with a new generation of readers.

One of our treasures this month is the Skinner collection editions which have been signed by J. Scott Skinner himself. A favourite of our signed collection is the frontispiece to the second edition of the Elgin Collection in which Skinner writes a passage to the father of the first City Librarian, George Milne Fraser.

The dedication reads:

To Joseph Fraser,
"Talent does what it can,
Genius does what it must!"

Patriotically yours,
J. Scott Skinner
Bon Accord,
9th Feb 1914

Find out more about James Scott Skinner and George Milne Fraser in the Treasures from our Collections interactive exhibition on our touchscreens.

James Scott Skinner
Aberdeen Local Studies
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