I would like to thank both of my supervisors Bob Harris and Charles McKean for their support throughout the many years of a part-time PhD, keeping me going when times were tough, asking insightful questions, and offering invaluable advice. I would also like to thank my fellow student Louisa Cross for her support, in the form of lively discussions, encouraging emails, and sharing relevant publications. I must also thank the Arts and Humanities Research Council who funded my doctoral research.
Thanks are also due to all the librarians and archivists who facilitated access to various records and publications, but particularly to the staff of the archives at the University of Dundee, Hazel Anderson at the National Archives of Scotland who arranged for me to borrow a substantial amount of digital images of Dumfriesshire testamentary records, and the staff at the Heritage Hub in Hawick who allowed my husband to digitally photograph Selkirk Subscription Library’s voluminous borrowing records, letting me transcribe and analyse them at home, the only way I could work through them practically by that point.
Both of my parents have been a great help throughout my history studies, both at Dundee and before. In addition I want to thank my secondary school history teacher, Ian Landles at Hawick, who at an early stage set my class a school project to produce a family tree, which was the prompt for my own journey of historical research, leading me to visit archives in the Borders and Edinburgh from a young age. But the greatest thanks of all must go to my husband Martin, who understands the challenges of doing a PhD more than most people, particularly when long-term ill as I am, and has been a rock throughout.
Contributor: Vivienne Dunstan
Source: Dunstan V (2010) Reading habits in Scotland circa 1750-1820, PhD, University of Dundee