This important manuscript was discovered and bought for the School of Scottish Studies by Francis Collinson in 1954. It contains 150 airs of which about 100 are vocal airs, the others being instrumental dance tunes or slow airs. Dating from 1812, it is the earliest manuscript collection of Highland music. Now typeset with the addition of texts, translations and detailed commentaries, it is freely available for downloading as a pdf file (approximately 5 megabytes, 190 pages) entitled The Elizabeth Ross Manuscript from the Schools website.
According to the School of Scottish Studies website, the author Elizabeth Jane Ross left the manuscript in the library of Raasay House when she departed to travel with her sister to India where she later married Baronet Charles DOyly. She was a competent transcriber, and her settings represent well the wide range of Hebridean music known to the islanders and in Raasay House, home of James MacLeod, laird of Raasay and Elizabeths uncle and guardian.
A facsimile of the manuscript itself is also availabe on the School of Scottish Studies website (enter "Elizabeth Ross" in their search engine, at the top of the page) or you may also link out to the facsimile by following this link to the Ross Manuscript. (A larger version of this Manuscript copy is on the schools website.)
Please follow this Catalogue link to return to the author index on the Library page.