Bookseller and hymnologist
The founder of the family firm of James Thin, Booksellers which
has been familiar to generations of University of Edinburgh students
and staff was apprenticed to James McIntosh, bookseller at 5 North College
Street from 1836 to 1841. He remained with McIntosh until 1848, when
he opened his own shop at 14 Infirmary Street, taking over the lease
and stock of a previous bookseller. The business grew and expanded,
and brought James Thin the friendship of some of the distinguished men
of letters of the day, including Lord Macaulay, Thomas De Quincey, Professor
John Wilson ('Christopher North'), Thomas Carlyle and Robert Louis Stevenson.
The firm is still one of Scotland's leading booksellers.
Hymnology was one of James Thin's lifelong passions. After his death
his trustees presented his collection of over 2,500 hymn books to New
College Library. It now numbers over 7,000 items, and its separate catalogue
is available for consultation
Portrait by kind permission of James Thin, Booksellers