William Purdie Dickson

Biography of William Purdie Dickson

William P Dickson, 1891
William P Dickson, 1891

William Purdie Dickson (1823-1901) was Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism, 1863 to 1873, and of Divinity from 1873 to 1895. He was Dean of Faculties, 1896 to 1900, the Curator of Glasgow University Library from 1866, and the William Dickson Prize is named for him.

Born in Pettinain in Lanarkshire, Dickson studied at the University of St Andrews and became a minister. After coming to Glasgow in the 1860s, he made his mark as the the library curator, rearranging the entire stock in a single alphabetical sequence and producing other finding aids. An abridged catalogue of 20,000 books was produced and offered for sale to students.

Dickson won praise for his translations of Theodor Mommsen's History of Rome and Provinces of the Roman Empire. He was President of the Library Association in 1888 and Convener of the Education Committee of the Church of Scotland from 1875 to 1888. He was awarded the degree of DD by the University in 1896.


William Purdie Dickson
Theologian and Librarian

Born 22 October 1823, Scotland.
Died 9 March 1901.
University Link: Dean of Faculties, Graduate, Honorary Graduate, Professor
GU Degree: DD, 1896;
Occupation categories: librarians; theologians; translators
Search for this person in the DNB
Record last updated: 14th Jul 2009

University Connections

University Roles


Academic Posts


There are no comments available.