Elected: 1997
Discipline: Language, Literature and History
Dr Iain Gordon Brown FRSE

Former Principal Curator of Manuscripts, National Library of Scotland.

Iain was formerly Principal Curator of Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland. There he was closely involved with acquisitions and exhibitions, and much concerned with the exploitation and interpretation of the collections. He is also the historian of the National Library and its predecessor, the historic Advocates’ Library. He is now an Honorary Fellow of the National Library, and is an Associate of the Centre for the History of the Book in the University of Edinburgh. In 2014 he was appointed Consultant to the Adam Drawings Project at Sir John Soane’s Museum, London. Iain has served as President of the Old Edinburgh Club and of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club; is or has been a trustee or council member of several cultural and heritage bodies (including the Society of Antiquaries of London, Edinburgh World Heritage and the Penicuik House Preservation Trust); and is Vice-President of the Edinburgh Decorative and Fine Arts Society. Iain works in interdisciplinary fields relating to British cultural history of the period 1680-1840, uniting literary scholarship with research in art, architecture and the history of taste, travel and antiquarianism. As Curator of the RSE between 2012 and 2017, he produced the now-standard edition of David Hume’s autobiography, the manuscript of which is owned by the Society.