Robert Forrester

Robert Forrester, Bookseller, Publisher and Bookbinder, 1, Royal Exchange Square.—

    There are few places of business that possess greater attraction to the intelligent mind than a first-class repository for old and rare books. The charm that always attaches to a good bookstore becomes, to most people of well-regulated intellect, very considerably enhanced when the contents of its shelves possess the added recommendations of antiquity and rarity ; and there is certainly no establishment in Glasgow of the kind referred to that is more pleasingly replete with a characteristic interest of its own than that controlled by Mr. Forrester, bookseller, publisher, and bookbinder, of 1, Royal Exchange Square. The notable business centred here was founded over half a century ago by the firm of Maurice Ogle & Company, and has been in the hands of its present proprietor for about twenty years, during which period its old-time repute and prestige as a high-class bookselling and publishing enterprise has been adequately and consistently sustained.

    The great feature of this business now essentially consists in the supply of rare, curious, old and valuable books and manuscripts, of which Mr. Forrester is the fortunate holder and possessor. The premises occupied stand upon one of the best sites in the centre of the city, directly facing the Royal Exchange ; and within the commodious limits of the establishment are shelved nearly two thousand yards of books, all of a valuable and uncommon character, all in a fine state of preservation, and the majority in rich and exquisite bindings. The mere enumeration of these literary treasures would fill many a printed page, and the complete stock is certainly one of the most valuable and interesting in the kingdom, consisting, as it does in a large measure, of Scottish literature of a rare order, and embracing many a scarce and curious publication in family and local history, poetry, songs and ballads, and entertaining club lore.

    In Mr. Forrester’s catalogue these works are listed at certainly very moderate prices, and the stock contains many a prize that should be speedily carried off by the ambitious amateur or the observant virtuoso. Mr. Forrester’s shop has a distinct national reputation and celebrity, and has been referred to in not a few noted works on Glasgow and old histories of the city. It has been a favourite resort for literary men for many a year, and has been frequented by bibliophiles and high authorities on bibliological matters constantly during the past half century. From it have gone forth several of the finest Scottish national publications extant, such as Blind Harry’s “Wallace”, Barbour’s “Bruce”, “Ballad Minstrelsy of Scotland”, “West of Scotland in History” (by Irving), together with numbers of other works now extremely rare.

    And Mr. Forrester has on his shelves to-day not a few works of equal celebrity, associated with events in the social, political, artistic, and literary life and annals of the Scottish people, that constitute most valuable items in the rich sum total of the national literature. The business of the house is of a very widespread and extensive order, its connections ranging all over the United Kingdom, America, and the Colonies ; and Mr. Forrester numbers among his many distinguished patrons not a few of the first social celebrities and most of the eminent literary lights of Scotland. Mr. Forrester also has from time to time valuable pictures and articles of vertu. Speciality : Scottish family and local histories and finely illustrated books.

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